Stranded vessel to be assessed before salvage operation

A car carrier which ran aground causing it to list heavily in a busy shipping lane is being assessed for stability before a salvage operation can be mounted.

Stranded vessel to be assessed before salvage operation

The 25 crew members of the Hoegh Osaka were rescued by coastguard helicopter and lifeboats after it became stranded on Bramble Bank, in the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight, at about 9.20pm on Saturday.

During the rescue operation, the 51,000-tonne Singapore-registered ship listed at 45 degrees.

One crew member is understood to have been rescued from the water while the majority of the crew had made their way to the high side of the ship and were taken to safety. Three senior officers stayed on board before being taken ashore.

Britain’s HM Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a helicopter mounted a rescue for the crew while RNLI lifeboats from Yarmouth, Calshot and Cowes were also sent to the scene.

National Maritime Operations Centre commander Steve Carson said: “All of the crew have been accounted for and other then a couple of non life-threatening injuries, everyone is safe and well.”

A statement from the MCA said: “The crew who were on board the car carrier Hoegh Osaka have all now been accounted for. Some were airlifted off the ship by coastguard helicopter and others were rescued from the sea by the three lifeboats that were on scene.”

The agency said the search and rescue mission was co-ordinated by the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham and the three crew members who remained on board the vessel to assist with salvage operations had been airlifted off.

It is not yet clear how the boat got into difficulty.

Mr Carson said plans for salvage of the 180-metre ship were under way and would not comment on how the ship ran aground. He said: “The investigation will follow and the authorities have been informed at this time. I will not speculate on the circumstances.

“The salvage operations have commenced. Not the removal of the vessel but the plans for its removal. We will have to wait until daylight to fully assess. The owners have appointed salvage operators and did so quite swiftly.”

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