Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Stricken Solent ship picture gallery

Hoegh Osaka Image copyright RNLI/Damian Lester
Image caption The RNLI said four lifeboats, as well as the Solent Coastguard helicopter, were involved in the rescue at 21:00 GMT on 3 January

The Hoegh Osaka was deliberately run aground in the Solent shortly after leaving Southampton port with a cargo worth £60m on 3 January.

She spent four days stranded on the shallow Bramble Bank before freeing herself and being secured in deeper water between East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and Lee-on-the-Solent on the mainland.

Image copyright Fred Battison
Image caption The ship had developed a list 40 minutes after leaving Southampton port as it made its way to Germany

The 51,000-tonne vessel was towed to Southampton port on Thursday and salvors are to hand over responsibility of the ship to the Norwegian owners Hoegh Autoliners.

Image copyright The Southern Daily Echo
Image caption JCBs destined for the Middle East were among the machinery on board the ship, shown before the she left Southampton

It is thought the total value of the cargo could be up to £60m.

While the ship is docked in Southampton, salvors will work to make the decks safe so the owners can take back control of the vessel.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Hoegh Osaka was visible from the coastline and became a tourist attraction throughout the 19 days she was stranded
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption After being stuck on Bramble Bank for four days, she unexpectedly released herself but was kept under control by salvage teams

It is thought that much of the cargo is underwater but many of the cars remained securely in place while the ship was listing at 52 degrees.

Image caption The vessel was then dragged two miles to a deep water location at Alpha Anchorage where the effort to refloat her began
Image copyright Barrie Webb
Image caption A period of bad weather and high winds slowed down the salavge team, from company Svitzer, but she was securely anchored down and weathered the storm
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A team of 15 experienced salvors spent days creating a safe route through the ship. Bram Sperling, salvage master, said it took hours to travel distances of 20 metres
Image copyright Maritme and Coastguard Agency
Image caption More than 3,000 tonnes of water was pumped from the hull of the ship, which was adding to the severe list, after a piece of construction machinery came free and punctured a hole in the side

The salvage company Svitzer is based in the Netherlands and has worked on operations all over the world. Salvage master Bram Sperling has worked on more than 90 missions.

Image copyright Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Image caption Tugs secured the ship as she was brought upright, with water being pumped in to ballast tanks as part of the process

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly day and night to bring this ship back to port.

"I would like to pay particular tribute to Hugh Shaw who oversaw the operation, with the help of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, salvage operators, and the pilots and tugs of the port of Southampton.

"They battled exceptionally difficult weather conditions with extraordinary dedication and courage. A full investigation into how the incident occurred is ongoing."

Image caption The Hoegh Osaka left Alpha Anchorage at 14:30 GMT on Thursday, an hour ahead of schedule. She was still listing at five degrees
Image caption The ship's own systems were used to guide her back, as well as four tugs. There was minimal disruption to the shipping lane
Image caption She travelled at a speed of roughly four knots and arrived in to Southampton Water Berth 101 at 17:30 GMT
Image copyright @tommo_85
Image caption People gathered in Mayflower Park and around the docks in Southampton to see the ship coming in

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is to investigate the incident fully once the ship has been secured by the salvage team.

Image caption The ship will stay in Southampton for some time as a full investigation is carried out

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