Ingar Skiaker, Chief Executive Officer of Höegh Autoliners says his company’s ship was purposely run aground last night after it developed a severe list after leaving port and the captain and pilot made the decision to save the vessel and crew by ground her on Bramble Bank.
“In total 25 people were evacuated from the vessel and all are safe and accounted for,” says Skiaker in an emailed statement. “Two crew members were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. At this stage it is too early to speculate on the cause of the list but we are starting an immediate investigation.”
No oil has been spilled as a result of the incident and the vessel is currently considered stable. Svitzer has been contracted to lead the salvage effort.
Hugh Shaw, the UK Secretary Of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention convened a meeting earlier today with the key stakeholders involved and 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.”
For safety reasons there is a 200 meter exclusion zone around the grounded vessel which is listing 52 degrees.