Work has begun to pump 3,000 tonnes of excess water from a huge 51,000 tonne stricken cargo ship which became stranded next to a busy shipping lane off the English coastline.
The Hoegh Osakabegan began to list as it left Southampton port two weeks ago, forcing the captain and pilot to take the emergency action of beaching it on the Bramble Bank to prevent it from capsizing.
It refloated on the high tide and was towed two miles to to safety on Wednesday afternoon.
The cargo includes 1,200 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, 65 Mini cars and 105 pieces of JCB construction equipment.
The Hoegh Osaka’s listing had reduced from 52 to 48 degrees in the water by Saturday, as strong winds caused delays to the salvage operation this week.
It floated free from the sandbank on the high tide on January 7 and has since been anchored at a spot two miles east called Alpha Anchorage, near Lee-on-the-Solent.
Last Saturday, one of the tugs helping to keep the ship in place collided with the vessel and had to be replaced.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on Saturday said divers had now carried out a limited inspection of the ship’s hull and found “no significant damage”.
A spokeswoman for the MCA said the ship remained stable and held its position overnight.
She said: “The ship continues to be stable and the salvors’ ongoing ballasting operations have now reduced the list to 48 degrees.
“The divers yesterday successfully carried out a limited inspection of the Hoegh Osaka’s hull. This inspection indicated that there is no significant damage.
“The operation to pump water from the vessel’s lower car deck started at 11am today.”
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.