PHOTOS: The Cargo Ship Full Of Luxury Cars That Was Deliberately Run Aground Has Finally Been Refloated

Höegh Osaka, the 51,000-tonnevehicle-carrier that ran aground in an area called Bramble Bank at beginning of the year, is being towed back to Southampton Port where it originally left from,the BBC reports.

In the last few days, the vessel has been refloated. The towing operations started at 2.30 p.m. GMT. According to the British Coastguard, it should take about three hours to pull Höegh Osaka back to the port.

The ship had been previously dragged toward Plymouth, in the opposite direction from Southampton, when it started drifting toward open waters. Since then, it has been secured and emptied of the water which filled parts of the tanks.

This map from the British Coastguard shows the towing route (we added the red captions):

Höegh Osaka was stranded on Saturday, Jan. 3, at about 9.30 p.m. It had left Southampton less than an hour before.

The cargo ship, owned by the Norwegian company Höegh Autoliners, was sailing toward Bremerhaven, Germany, carrying about 1,400 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).

Here are some new pictures of the operations:

Rescuers had to wait for better weather conditions to start the operations. In the aftermath of the incident, rough seas hindered salvage crews, who had to wait out conditions by securing the ship to the ground.

The vessel was full of water that had to be emptied before it was moved.

The vessel was drifting at more than 45 degrees at one point.

The lower decks of the cargo carrier are still full of Jaguars and Land Rovers.

The ship is owned by a Norwegian company.

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