Hoegh Osaka towed to Port of Southampton


Höegh+Osaka+at+sea_Photo+FotoFliteThe stricken car carrier Höegh Osaka, stranded in the Solent for 19 days, was finally towed to the Port of Southampton yesterday (Thursday).

The vessel, carrying millions of pounds worth of vehicles, was deliberately grounded on Bramble Bank after developing a list while on her way to Germany.

A statement from owner Höegh Autonliners today, said: “We are extremely grateful that our vessel is now safely moored after close to three weeks. When the list had developed, difficult decisions were made by the pilot and master in the Solent on the night of January 3. Without those decisions we might not have had the vessel alongside.

“A lot of work remains, physical as well as legal, but the main thing is that the crew is safe, that no pollution to the environment has occurred, that the traffic in and out of the port has been largely uninterrupted, and the cargo soon can be accessed so our customers can get some clarity in their business continuity plans.

“We thank everyone who have been involved in the challenging rescue and salvage operation. We have been impressed with the skill and efficiency of all those involved, the Secretary of State Representative and his team, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, The seaman’s church organisations, our main insurers Gard, Southampton’s Port Authorities, ship managers Wallem and of course, Svitzer Salvage. All the interested parties have co-operated closely under the auspices of the SOSREP which illustrates the effectiveness of the world leading single authority approach in place in the UK.”

The cause of the accident is now being investigated by the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, and Höegh Autonliners is cooperating fully with MAIB in its inquiries to uncover the cause of the accident.

The vessel will be inspected in the next day or so and made safe for surveyors to go onboard and once the necessary onboard surveys are completed the cargo discharge can begin.