Ingar Skiaker, CEO of Höegh Autoliners made the following statement in the press conference yesterday.
“Our vessel Höegh Osaka is currently grounded at Bramble Bank in the Solent outside the port of Southampton. All crew plus one pilot, in total 25 people were evacuated from the vessel and all are safe and accounted for.
Two crew members were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The crew is currently being offered all possible support and assistance to help them cope with the ordeal they have been through.
We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this challenging rescue operation, with a special thanks to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, DNV, Gard and Southampton’s Port Authorities.
Höegh Autoliners key concern has been for the crew and we are thankful to everyone that they are all safely ashore.
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. Right now we have serious work ahead of us in order to free the vessel from the Bramble Bank without disrupting the flow of traffic in and out of the Port of Southampton.
An investigation is ongoing as to what occurred last night and that is being conducted by the MAIB. Our chief concern now is to ensure there is no environmental damage from this incident.
There is no oil spill reported at this point however we understand that the UK authorities have brought their spill response to a state of active readiness.
The vessel is currently considered stable, and we are closely working with our appointed salvors Svitzer, who in turn, are working alongside Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention, as well as the Port of Southampton, to prepare for a safe and successful salvage of the vessel with minimal disruption to the port and it environment.”
*Image credit: Hoegh Autoliners