The Höegh Osaka cargo ship that nearly capsized off of the southern coast of England earlier this month has been re-floated and towed back to port.
According to the BBC, the Norwegian-owned auto carrier and its cargo of more than 1,200 cars, SUVs, and construction equipment has been unloaded at the docks in Southampton, where the ship’s journey originated more than three weeks ago.
On Jan. 3, the Osaka’s crew beached the vessel on the Brambles sandbar to prevent the ship from capsizing after it began listing shortly after leaving port.
With the ship now secure, the big question is, “What will happen to all those luxury cars and SUVs, worth between $US45 to $US53 million?”
The Osaka’s cargo of Jaguars, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, MINIs and even a singular $US300,000 Rolls Royce Wraith was destined for the Middle East.
Their destiny is now murkier.
“There has been water ingress to the lower car decks,” the ship’s owner Hoegh Autoliners reported in a statement.
But the company added that only a small number of vehicles “have been affected by the water ingress.”
Looking at the condition of the cars that have been driven off of the ship, they appear to be in better shape than expected. Some have emerged completely unharmed, while others have suffered some body damage.
The cars are likely going to be crushed in a scrap yard.
This has happened before.
In 2006, the car carrier Cougar Ace — like the Hoegh Osaka — developed a severe list off of the coast of Alaska. On board were 4,700 brand-new Mazdas headed for American dealerships.
According to Car and Driver, the ship’s entire cargo of factory-fresh cars was crushed in scrap yards in the Pacific Northwest. The total cost to Mazda and its insurers: $US103 million.
We’ve reached out to Jaguar Land Rover for comment on the fate of its cars that were on the Osaka and will update you when we hear back from the company.
In the meantime, here are some of the vehicles, with screenshots taken from a YouTube video:
This Range Rover Evoque looks dealer-worthy.
This purple Jaguar XJL looks like it has emerged undamaged, as well.
This Land Rover Defender 90 suffered a few dents — which actually enhance the off-roader’s rugged looks.
However, the dents on the rear door of this Range Rover Sport are less attractive.
This Land Rover Discovery/LR4 still has a protective film covering its hood.
Not all of the cars spotted today were JLR cars. A nearly perfect MINI also made an appearance.
Here’s the complete video:
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