Kite surfers soar over Hoegh Osaka

Kite surfers make the most of strong winds near to the car carrier Hoegh Osaka''''Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Kite surfers make the most of strong winds near to the car carrier Hoegh Osaka''''Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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Kite surfers are enjoying an unexpected boost as strong winds prevent a bid to pump water from the stricken ship Hoegh Osaka off of Lee-on-the-Solent.

Weather conditions have been deemed too unsafe for salvors to begin pumping 3,000 tonnes of water taken onboard by the car carrier - but the blustery weather has given kite surfers a boon as they soar over the ship.

The Hoegh Osaka was beached deliberately on Bramble Bank sandbank, near Southampton, last Saturday after it began listing as it left the Hampshire port.

The 51,000-tonne ship, which has a cargo of 1,400 cars and 105 pieces of construction equipment, floated free from the sandbank on the high tide on Wednesday and has since been anchored at a spot two miles east called Alpha Anchorage near Lee-on-the-Solent.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that during Friday night, the vessel had dragged anchor for approximately 100m, due to very high winds.

A spokeswoman said yesterday it had not changed the state of the vessel in any way, the list had not altered and there was still no evidence of pollution.

She said: “During the time the Hoegh Osaka dragged anchor, between 4am to 5am this morning, the Queen Mary 2 was coming into port reporting 72 knot winds.

“Two tugs remain attached to the vessel, one fore and one aft.

“The aim is to attach another tug to the bow if weather permits.

“The weather conditions today are unsafe for the salvors to board to finalise pumping arrangements.”

Salvors Svitzer boarded the vessel again yesterday to prepare for the removal of the water which Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s representative for maritime salvage and intervention, (Sosrep), said had a film of oil on it from the vehicles in the cargo but did not currently pose a pollution risk.

The MCA spokeswoman said that divers were waiting for calmer weather conditions to inspect the hull for damage.

She added: “During the operation to remove the water inside the list of the vessel will be constantly monitored.”