The operation to remove cargo from the previously grounded Hoegh Osaka began Tuesday at the port of Southampton after the all clear was given by the authorities.
The car carrier is now back in the hand of its owner, Höegh Autoliners, after the salvage officially ended when the vessel was towed back to Southampton last week.
Earlier this week, the UK authorities, the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, performed inspections of the vessel, confirming that there are only minor damages, Höegh Autoliners said. According to current reports obtained by the company, all cargo, apart from some large units on the main deck, continued to be held by their lashings. Höegh Autoliners also reports that only a limited number of vehicles on the lower car decks were affected by the water ingress, however a statement from the company on Monday said that it was still too early to say more about the status of the cargo.
Höegh Autoliners later reported that on Tuesday at approximately 9 a.m. GMT, the discharge operation began as planned and was expected to continue over the next few days. Photos and video of the operation show cars being driven off the back of the ship, including some with visible body damage.
As was reported previously, the Hoegh Osaka was carrying some 1,400 vehicles, including as many 1,200 luxury Range Rovers and other Jaguar Land Rover models when it grounded on the Bramble Bank in the Solent shortly after departing Southampton for Germany on January 3. The company has not given any indication of the value of cargo that was aboard the vessel, however some reports have indicated that the cars could be worth close to $150 million.
At this time, a repair plan for the vessel is also being prepared. Inspections of the vessel show that the majority of the work to bring the vessel back to seaworthiness relates to cleaning of compartments which have had water ingress and repair of smaller structural damages due to movement of cargo and salvage operations, Höegh Autoliners reports, with all repairs expected to be completed in Southampton. The company did not mention a final date for when the repair work will be completed.
FULL COVERAGE: Hoegh Osaka Grounding