Car Carrier Grounded off Southern England

Published Jan 6, 2015 9:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

A cargo vessel is grounded in the Solent, a major shipping route off the south coast of England, Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said on Sunday.

The Hoegh Osaka car carrier began listing after leaving Southampton port on Saturday evening and the 25 crew were rescued by helicopter and lifeboat, the coastguard said. There were no life-threatening injuries.

The ship's owner, Hoegh Autoliners, said they were assessing the damage.

"The crew have confirmed that the vessel is not taking in any water and they are presently in a stable position with current list," Hoegh said in a statement.

"Höegh Autoliners are fully co-operating with all the authorities at this time to ensure the vessel remains safe. No pollution has been reported."

Southampton is Britain's largest vehicle handling port, and also home to the country's second-largest container terminal.

The master and pilot decided to run the listing vessel aground on a sandbank to avoid a more serious situation developing.

Hoegh Autoliners have appointed Svitzer as the salvage company for the vessel which is listing at an angle of about 50 degrees. 

Hugh Shaw, the Secretary Of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention convened a meeting earlier today with the key stakeholders involved has said:

"I am confident that the vessel owners are working professionally and promptly and have appointed salvors who arrived on scene early this morning and have already started work to assess options for salvage and the removal of the vessel.  Further salvage personnel and salvage equipment is expected to arrive on scene tonight. Further assessments will be carried out over the next few days and these will assist the salvage team to formulate a suitable salvage plan.”