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Monday, February 2, 2015

salvaging Hoegh Osaka ~ many luxury cars retrieved undamaged

I had earlier posted on beach of Bramble and the intentional agrounding of Car Carrier ‘MV Höegh Osaka’.  The vessel was in news for its prized cargo consisting of   Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, one Rolls-Royce Wraith and  65 Minis’.  The 180-metre long Singapore registered car transporter was en-route to Bremerhaven in Germany.  The vessel was deliberately grounded off Isle of Wight after 'human error threatened it with capsizing' and started  listing' after leaving the Port of Southampton. Hoegh Osaka was carrying 1,400 luxury cars including a £260,000 Rolls Royce Wraith on January 3, when it was deliberately grounded on Bramble Bank in the Solent to stop it capsizing.

It was stated that all  25 crew members were rescued by a coastguard helicopter and multiple RNLI lifeboats amidst report that one of them may have sustained a broken leg.  Marine Salvage, is the process of recovering a ship, its cargo, or other property after a shipwreck. Salvage encompasses towing, refloating a sunken or grounded vessel, or patching or repairing a ship.  Those who render assistance at sea are called ‘Salvors’.  The act of salvage generally occurs under a contract, codified clearly.  Salvage specialist Svitzer  reportedly were employed and now comes the news of their success. High winds and heavy rain hampered the rescue operation - even causing one of the tugs to smash into the Osaka as it was being towed. It was brought back to land last week so that its precious cargo could be unloaded.

MailOnline had more than a couple of interesting reports on the ship, its listing, the salvage and on the cars so retrieved.  One of the reports stated that more than £30million-worth of Range Rovers, Jaguars and Porsche emerged from the ill-fated carrier ship – and among the dented doors and scratched paintwork emerged a perfectly preserved armoured personnel carrier.  A spokesman for the shipping company described the damage to the cars as 'limited' but there are fears the entire fleet could have to be scrapped after a similar accident in 2006 wrecked 4,700 Mazdas. The cars, then  were sent to the crusher after transporter MV Cougar Ace partially capsized in the North Pacific while carrying the cars away from the factory.

Three weeks after running aground, hundreds of Range Rovers, Jaguars and Porches began to be unloaded whilst a armoured vehicle came out unscathed.   Authorities are carrying out a full examination of all the cars on board to see how extensively they have been damaged after the accident. One  Porsche Boxter was left with large scratches and dents to its bodywork while many other had damages written over their bodies.  Engineers were worried about what effect resting at such a severe angle for so long would have on the inner workings of the cars, especially on the electrolyte in the batteries. Rather than open themselves up to the possibility of lawsuits due to mechanical faults, the company decided that it was safer to scrap the lot.

A spokesman for Hoegh Autoliners said that each car was being inspected after being removed from the ship, and that a decision about their fate would not be made until that task was complete.  The vessel was also carrying up to 80 agricultural or building plant machines, including a large stone-cutter machine weighing more than 30 tonnes.  It is not yet known which vehicles were damaged by the sea water inside the ship and the spokesman said the vehicles were owned by 'a variety of parties' - including dealers and private owners.

On Jan 17th,  3,000 tonnes of water was pumped out and into empty fuel tanks on board and by 22,  Salvage firm Svitzer was able to complete ballast management and reduce the ship's list to five degrees. It was then towed to Southampton Docks by four tugs. During its journey, an exclusion zone around the vessel was in place, set at 1,000 metres ahead and behind and 100 metres either side. Airspace was also restricted to one mile around the route as a precaution. Hundreds of people gathered at Southampton Water to watch the ship complete its three hour journey back to the port.
Another report states that the Rolls-Royce didn’t have a scratch! £260,000 luxury car looked  pristine as it was  driven off stricken cargo ship – unlike the hundreds of battered Land Rovers that went before it.  The Rolls Royce Wraith,  was destined for private owners believed to be in the Middle East - the final destination for the ship.  Another plastic-covered Range Rover was driven off the Singapore-registered vehicle into Southampton's Docks where it waits for assessment

The process of removing the cargo is on and presents new dimensions on how they will be checked and the logistics of movement.  The ship's owners said there was 'limited damage' to most of the 1,400 luxury vehicles, however, plenty rolled off with doors missing !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2nd Feb 2015.
photos and news credit : www.dailymail.co.uk

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