Strong winds delay effort to move Hoegh Osaka

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BAD weather meant a stranded cargo ship was held in the Solent waters again.

Last night’s heavy winds and rain meant work to move the Hoegh Osaka was delayed.

A windsurfer with the Hoegh Osaka in the background. Picture: Dan Grant

A windsurfer with the Hoegh Osaka in the background. Picture: Dan Grant

The Portsmouth area was battered with bad weather including rain, hail, and strong winds.

It is thought the savaging will not get started again until the weekend, when the weather calms.

A statement from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: ‘The vessel remains held in position at anchor.

‘All precautions are in place to hold the ship during this period.

‘Current expectations are that the weather will permit salvage work to be progressed over the weekend.

‘The salvor’s helicopter is now on scene.

‘A temporary danger area or air-exclusion zone around the ship has been established of one mile around and 2,000ft high to facilitate helicopter operations.

‘No diving took place, but there was more progress in testing the water pumps deployed on the ship and its ballast system.’

Navigate PR, which represents ship’s owners, said that the vessel was on lockdown last night and that with gusts of 40 knots, tugboats were holding her in place.

As reported, the 51,000-tonne ship, which has a cargo of 1,400 cars and 105 pieces of construction equipment, was beached deliberately on Bramble Bank sandbank almost two weeks ago after it began listing.

It floated free from the sandbank on the high tide and has since been anchored at a spot two miles east, near Lee-on-the-Solent.

The Met Office said the poor weather is set to ease and that there will be scattered showers today before it becomes windy again, with a maximum temperature of 9C.

But looking ahead to tomorrow and Saturday, the office forecasts it will stay cold but bright.

Tomorrow there will still be strong winds, with sunny spells and occasional wintry showers.

But there will be widespread overnight frost and icy patches, and less windy on Saturday and Sunday.