Transport ship beached off English coast

4th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

A huge transport ship that ran aground off the south coast of England was being assessed for its stability Sunday as experts work out how to attempt salvaging the stricken vessel.

The Hoegh Osaka car carrier has beached on the submerged Bramble Bank in the Solent, the straits between the mainland and the Isle of Wight.

The Singapore-registered 51,000-tonne vessel is listing at 45 degrees in the water and has quickly become a local tourist attraction.

The 25 crew members on board the 180-metre ship were rescued by helicopters and lifeboats after it hit the sandbank at about 2130 GMT on Saturday as it sailed from Southampton to Germany.

"The crew who were on board the car carrier Hoegh Osaka have all now been accounted for," said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

"Some were airlifted off the ship by coastguard helicopter and others were rescued from the sea by the three lifeboats that were on scene."

There were a few non life-threatening injuries but all the crew are safe and well.

"There is no reported pollution from the vessel which remains listing at 45 degrees and the MCA's counter pollution team will continue to monitor the vessel which is currently assessed as being stable," the agency said.

"The vessel's owners have appointed the salvage company Svitzer and a salvage team is on its way to the scene today to make an initial assessment."

A high tide has passed but the ship remains exactly where it was.

The vessel has become a tourist attraction with car parks along the coast filling up with people wishing to see the unusual sight for themselves.

The Bramble Bank appears for about an hour at the lowest spring tide of the year. The sandbar is the site of a quickfire, jovial cricket match between the yachting clubs based on either side of the Solent before the sea envelops it again.

© 2015 AFP

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