The Hoegh Osaka left Southampton at 20:21 this evening en-route to Germany, however has run aground off East Cowes near to the West Bramble Buoy.
Lifeboats from Calshot, Cowes and Yarmouth are in attendance alongside Coastguard Rescue 104 helicopter from Lee-on-Solent. Southampton Patrol and 4 tug boats, 2 from Esso and 2 from Southampton Docks, are also on scene.
UPDATE: It is understood a number of casualties have been rescued from the water by lifeboats, whilst many more have been airlifted from the deck of the Hoegh Osaka by Coastguard helicopter and taken to Lee-on-Solent.
One person is believed to have suffered a broken leg.
The Captain and First Officer are to remain on board the vessel, however all other crew members have been taken to safety. It is believed the huge cargo ship suffered a mechanical malfunction, swinging the ship around to port and onto Brambles Bank.
An RAF rescue helicopter from 22 Squadron has been tasked to assist in the operation, conducting a search of the wider area for any persons in the water.
UPDATE: The immediate rescue operation has been completed, however the long wait starts for high tide at around 10:30 when efforts will be made to refloat the vehicle carrier.
Large ships are currently unable to enter or exit the Port of Southampton.
Speed restrictions have been put in place, which is resulting in delays to Red Funnel ferry services.
UPDATE @ 02:00 – The vessel is understood to have listed further, resulting in all remaining senior officials being airlifted from the ship.
It has been confirmed that one crew member has been admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth with non-life threatening injuries.
Crowds have been gathering on Cowes and East Cowes seafronts to catch a glimpse of the scene, photographed here by Island Echo.
Meanwhile, the RNLI have released this video of the immediate scene that lifeboat crewman came across last night.
This story was reported first world-wide by Island Echo