Rescue operation as cargo ship runs aground in the Solent

The stricken cargo ship Picture: RNLI/Damian Lester
The stricken cargo ship Picture: RNLI/Damian Lester
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Twenty-five crew members have been airlifted off a cargo ship which ran aground and tipped on its side in the Solent tonight.

The Hoegh Osaka car transporter left Southampton at 8.21pm on Saturday, but shortly afterwards ran aground north of Cowes, near the Isle of Wight, and began listing to one side.

The Solent Coastguard helicopter based in Lee-on-the-Solent was called, along with lifeboats from Calshot, Cowes and Yarmouth.

The coastguard airlifted 25 crew members from the ship.

One was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham with injuries.

The owners of the vessel, Hoegh Autoliners, said in a statement: ‘Hoegh Autoliners are currently assessing damage and stability issues on board its vessel the Hoegh Osaka which suffered a heavy list after leaving Southampton Port.

‘Höegh Autoliners’ primary concern has been for the crew on board and it has been confirmed that one crew member has been injured and he was airlifted to Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth with non life-threatening injuries.

‘The remaining crew have been taken to HMS Daedalus by helicopter and will be accommodated locally overnight.

‘However, a small number of senior officers remain on board.

‘The Marine Accident Incident Branch (MAIB) has been informed.

‘Two Svitzer tugs & 2 further Solent-based tugs are presently in attendance by the vessel.

‘The crew have confirmed that the vessel is not taking in any water and they are presently in a stable position with current list.

‘A salvage master has been appointed and Höegh Autoliners are fully co-operating with all the authorities at this time to ensure the vessel remains safe. No pollution has been reported.’

The vessel is listing at about 45 degrees.

A coastguard spokesman said: ‘The Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent is currently airlifting 25 crew from a car carrier which has grounded on the Bramble Bank, East Cowes Isle of Wight.

‘Southampton Vessel Traffic Service is sending tugs to the scene to assist with the vessel which is listing to one side.

‘The RNLI lifeboats from Calshot, Yarmouth and Cowes have been launched and are on scene.’