A car carrier the HOEGH OSAKA was deliberately run aground on The Brambles Bank at the entrance to Southampton Water on the evening of Jan 3rd, 2015. The ship had departed the Port of Southampton and was headed for Bremerhaven when the incident occurred.
All crew plus one pilot, in total 25 people were evacuated from the vessel and all are safe and accounted for. “Fortunately, the rescue helicopters managed to winch most of the crew to safety in quite challenging conditions, while two people were rescued by the Calshot RNLI lifeboats. One of them leaped around 8 meters from the ship into the water and was picked up immediately by our inshore lifeboat. The other was rescued from the bow of the ship.”
Car parks are filled as onlookers gather on the shore line to see the stranded ship. The 180-meter long Singapore-registered vessel is now listing at about 52 degrees with a salvage operation swinging in to action.
A Hoegh Autoliners representative said, “Our vessel developed a severe list shortly after she left port and the pilot and the master took the decision to save the vessel and its crew by grounding her on the bank. This showed great skill and seamanship on behalf of our crew when faced with such challenging circumstances.”
“At this stage it is too early to speculate on the cause of the list but we are starting an immediate investigation.”
“There is no impact on vessels transiting the Solent as the vessel is not within a shipping channel.”
Known as “The Brambles”, Bramble Bank is a famous sandbank in Southampton Water that is also the scene of an annual cricket match between two yachting clubs when the sands are exposed in low spring tides since the 1950s.
In November 2008, the Cunard liner QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 on her last transatlantic voyage with 1,700 passengers on board briefly ran aground on the Brambles but was pulled clear by four tugs and a rising tide making her only 90 minutes late at docking in Southampton.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.