The Cargo Ship That Was Deliberately Run Aground Off The English Coast Is Full Of Luxury Cars

Plans are being made to rescue a 51,000-ton freight ship that ran aground off Southampton on Saturday night, the BBC reports.

The Höegh Osaka had just left Southampton port in the UK when it ran over high banks just north the Isle of Wight, in an area called the Bramble Bank. 

On Monday a team of salvage experts and operators from the specialised rescue company Svitzer inspected the ship to plan the rescue operations, but these could take days according to the BBC.

Moreover, forecasts of bad weather add further pressure on the wreck.

Twenty-five crew members were rescued by the coast guard at about 9:30 p.m. GMT (4:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday. 

The cargo ship, owned by the Norwegian company Höegh Autoliners, was sailing toward Bremerhaven, Germany, carrying about 1,400 vehicles, according to ITV. After hours of rumour and speculation, the carrier confirmed that the ship is full of luxury cars: roughly 1,200 of the cars are from Jaguar Land Rover. The local Southern Daily Echo reports that the total cargo could be valued at as much as £30m ($US45m).

The ship can easily be seen from Cowes, listing at about 52 degrees on its right side.

Ingar Skiaker, CEO of Höegh Autoliners, said in a statement that the vessel was grounded deliberately to prevent it capsizing.

The ship “developed a severe list shortly after she left port and the pilot and the master took the decision to save the vessel and its crew by grounding her on the bank. This showed great skill and seamanship on behalf of our crew when faced with such challenging circumstances,” he said.

Skiaker said the ship was not leaking oil, adding that it was stable and that major operations to rescue the ship were ready to begin.

Skiaker said that the company ordered a full investigation into the accident, although its main priority was to “ensure that there is no environmental damage from this incident.”

The BBC spoke with marine salvage expert John Noble to figure out what happened. “Clearly she left the channel. What we can’t speculate on at this stage is why,” he said.

“The Bramble Bank is well known for being a difficult stretch of water, so everyone is on the alert,” Noble said.

This GIF provides a view from above the stranded ship:

A smaller ship is used to inspect the shipwreck:

And to let inspectors onboard:

The same tugboat collects the operators after the inspection is concluded:

Although the vessel is owned by a Norwegian operator, it is registered in Singapore:

The ship is absolutely massive:

Look at the comparison with other smaller boats:

The ship was on its side the whole night:

But they kept the lights on:

On Monday morning, the Höegh Osaka was still listing but rescue operations were begun:

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