Giant carship starts to correct as 800t water pumped out: Picture courtesy Hampshire Police Marine Unit

Giant carship starts to correct as 800t water pumped out: Picture courtesy Hampshire Police Marine Unit

Salvers working on the listing Hoegh Osaka carship have pumped 800t of water from the listing vessel, but are unlikely to able to start any tow back to the Port of Southampton on England's south coast before this Wednesday's (21 January) high tide.

The 51,000t car transporter, carrying around 1,300 Jaguar Land Rovers, Minis, JCBs and one Rolls-Royce Wraith, ingested 3,000t of water following a crack in the side of the vessel after machinery moved, with salvers only now able to pump water after ferocious storms in the Solent.

However, removing the 800t of clean water from the lower car decks coupled with ballasting operations, has meant the ship's list has corrected slightly from 52 degrees to 48 degrees, with the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) describing the situation as "stable."

Work was slightly disrupted during the weekend as divers had to reposition the pump to ensure only clean water was discharged.

The same divers also carried out a limited inspection of the Hoegh Osaka's hull and reported no significant damage. 

The fate of the 1,300 vehicles initially bound for Bremerhaven and Hamburg in Germany before going through the Suez Canal en route for Jeddah, Sohar [Oman], Jebal Ali [Dubai], Bahrain, Damman, Kuwait, Mumbai and Chennai, remains unknown and is unlikely to become only fully apparent once the ship is back in Southampton.

Hydraulic fluid leaking from the vehicles had to be removed from the 3,000t of ingressed water before the 17-strong team of salvers using a helicopter and three tugs to board, could start pumping.

The MCA and Hoegh Osaka owners, Hoegh Autoliners were not immediately available for comment and are believed to be in the daily meeting taking place now in Southampton, bringing together UK government agencies and interested parties.