Stricken Hoegh Osaka Car Carrier Drags Anchor in the Solent [UPDATE]

The Hoegh Osaka car carrier being assisted by tugs away the Bramble Bank after the ship self-floated, January 6, 2015. Photo courtesy Casey Sheargold
The Hoegh Osaka car carrier being assisted by tugs away the Bramble Bank after the ship self-floated, January 6, 2015. Photo courtesy Casey Sheargold

January 11 Update: High winds in the Solent continued to create problems salvors of the Hoegh Osaka car carrier throughout the day Saturday.

Weather essentially prevented salvors from carrying out any work whatsoever on Saturday, although a third tug was able to connect to the ship as planned. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency reports that on Saturday afternoon one of two tugs already in place moved from its position and collided with the Hoegh Osaka. Nobody was injured in the accident, however the tug sustained some damage and had to be replaced with another tug.

The main concern at the moment continues to be the weather and the forecast for continuing high winds in the coming week, the MCA reports, and salvage plans are being adjusted accordingly.

On Sunday, salvors were expected to once again board the vessel and begin ballasting work before attempting to pump some 3,000 tons of water that entered the ship through a crack in the hull.

Still no pollution has reported and the vessel remains stable at the Alpha Anchorage.

January 10: The stricken Hoegh Osaka dragged anchor overnight in very high winds at the Alpha Anchorage in the Solent where the vessel has been held since it self-floated on Wednesday.

An update from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency on Saturday said that the Hoegh Osaka dragged anchor for about 100 meters, although the vessel is still stable with no change in list and pollution reported.

During the time the Hoegh Osaka dragged anchor, between 4am to 5am Saturday morning, the Queen Mary 2 was coming into port reporting 72 knot winds, according to the MCA. Two tugs remain attached to the Hoegh Osaka, one fore and one aft, and a third tug is expected to attach to the bow if weather permits.

The MCA said that bad weather on Saturday was preventing salvors from boarding the vessel to finalize pumping arrangements. As gCaptain reported previously, an estimated 3,000 tons of water entered the vessel the through a crack in the hull, which has since been repaired. Dewatering of the vessel is expected to improve the list of the ship.

The MCA said Thursday that salvage work is expected to continue at the current location over the next five to seven days and will include hull inspections by divers, the removal of water and ballasting operations to reduce the list. Once this work is complete, the Hoegh Osaka will be moved to the nearby port of Southampton.

The 51,000 ton car carrier was deliberately grounded on the Bramble Bank by the Pilot and Master over fears that vessel would capsize after developing a severe list shortly after departing from the port of Southampton last Saturday.

The salvage of the vessel is being carried out by Svitzer.

Full Coverage: Hoegh Osaka Grounding