Water to be pumped out of the Hoegh Osaka

The car carrier Hoegh Osaka near Lee-on-the-Solent. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The car carrier Hoegh Osaka near Lee-on-the-Solent. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Picture: Neil Marshall

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WATER will soon begin to be pumped out of the stranded cargo ship Hoegh Osaka.

International maritime experts Svitzer met with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, ship owners Hoegh and the Environment Agency to discuss the future of the 51,000 tonne vessel which is floating in the Solent.

Now, the 3,000 tonnes of water which entered the hull of the ship through a hole will be pumped back into the sea.

But councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said he remains concerned about the impact it could have on the environment if oil leaks into the sea.

The water has mixed with oil in the ship although it’s believed to have floated to the top which means there is a low risk of spillage as the water will be released from the bottom.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘They have sampled the water. It does have oil in it.

‘They will take it out from the bottom and hope that it will leave the oil floating at the top.

‘I remain worried about the risk of oil pollution. I am concerned because 3,000 tonnes of water is being taken out of that ship.’

Once the water has been pumped out, salvors will start to get the ship upright, before towing it into Southampton.

It is believed that this process could take between five and seven days.

The vessel is currently stable at the anchorage. Three tugs kept it in place overnight despite some high winds in the early hours.

The 51,000-tonne car carrier, which was stranded on the Bramble Bank sandbank, was moved and anchored two miles south-west of Lee-on-the-Solent last night after it came free and began drifting yesterday afternoon.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency started towing the vessel to a new location at around 4.30pm and a temporary exclusion zone of 300 metres was put around the vessel.

The ship was grounded deliberately after it ran into trouble while sailing from Southampton with its cargo of 1,400 luxury and standard cars as well as 80 pieces of construction equipment.

​Before the vessel can be moved back to the Port of Southampton salvage work needs to be completed which will take between five and seven days.

Salvage teams are on board the vessel today but weather conditions are likely to impact on the operation..

Forecasts predict worsening weather at 3am tomorrowy, which will calm down during the morning before picking up again at 3pm and reaching very high winds Saturday morning.