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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Car carrier with costly cars on boards itnentionally ran aground !! MV Hoegh Osaka

Ships greatly interest us  ~ one of the specialised type of vessels is ‘RORO’ [roll-on / roll-off] designed to carry wheeled cargo – i.e., the vessels could simply be driven into the waiting ship and then transported.  There are further exclusive  automobile carrier often termed as  Pure Car Carrier – the industry treats it to be ‘risk-prone’. 

What you see here is no ordinary beach match – one played at Bramble. Bramble Bank is a sandbar in the centre of the Solent - the stretch of water  between the Isle of Wight and the Hampshire coastline. The Solent, a major shipping route is the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. The sandbank is uncovered only once a year - for about an hour - when the lowest tide reveals a temporary 200-metre-long 'pitch'.  During that time the two sides, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, from Hamble, Hampshire and the Island Sailing Club, from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, sail out from the opposite coasts for their match.  The tradition, which began in the 1950s, includes the teams taking it in turns to win and always ends with a celebratory meal.

Bramble is in news as on 3rd Jan 2015, the car transporter MV Höegh Osaka was beached on the bank after developing a list. A 200 metre maritime exclusion zone was put into in place around the ship until the salvage operation is concluded.  The vessel is special as it reportedly was carrying  ‘1,200 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

Reports state that all 25 crew members were rescued on Saturday night by a coastguard helicopter and multiple RNLI lifeboats amidst report that one of them may have sustained a broken leg. Investigation has begun into why 52,000 ton car transporter developed problems and started listing.  Some reports quote the Owners Hoegh Autoliners praising the 'skill' of the pilot and master who decided to steer ship into Bramble Bank.  The ship is now listing at 52 degrees and a salvage operation has begun which could take weeks.

Maritime expert Professor Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Centre based in Southampton  is quoted as saying : 'Of course it could be down to human error, that is always possible. The first question is, why was the ship listing so severely, that is not normal.  'It could be that the cargo had shifted and it was not loaded correctly. It is possible that the wrong tank may have been refuelled. It could be a human or a mechanical error, but we will have to wait until the result of the investigation.'  According to another marine salvage expert from Southampton, something 'clearly went wrong' just 45 minutes after leaving Southampton.  It is stated that there were no casualties and that no oil or other substances leaked from the ship.  Appointed salvers Svitzer will spend the next few days going on board the ship to establish if the cargo, which also includes 70 to 80 pieces of construction equipment, had shifted. A spokesman for JCB said it has 105 pieces of construction equipment on the carrier, including 50-tonne and 33-tonne tracked excavators.

Salvage specialist Svitzer lost a race against time as they unsuccessfully tried to re-float the huge ship using four tugs to pull it off the sandbank. After the failed attempt on Sunday to refloat the vessel, it will have to remain stuck for at least another three days because the tides will not be high enough to re-float her. Hampshire police posted advice to motorists on Facebook warning them that the area had become 'extremely busy'.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th Jan 2015
Photos and news credit : Daily Mail UK

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