Salvers are pumping clean water out of Hoegh Osaka to right list: Picture courtesy Martime & Coastguard Agency

Salvers are pumping clean water out of Hoegh Osaka to right list: Picture courtesy Martime & Coastguard Agency

Salvers working on the Hoegh Osaka say they are hoping to raise the listing ship by a further 10 degrees today (20 January) as preparations start for a possible tow back to the Port of Southampton at high tide tomorrow night.

The 51,000t ship was righted by five degrees yesterday as the salvers, Svitzer, pumped 800t of the 3,000t water which poured on board after moving machinery cracked the side of the vessel.

Ship owner, Hoegh Autoliners, says most of the 1,400 Jaguar Land Rovers, Minis, JCBs and one Rolls-Royce Wraith are now above the waterline, but it is unclear to what extent they may have been previously affected by water.

"Things are going rather well because they have got a good run of weather," a Svitzer spokesman told just-auto. "They are hoping to get it [Osaka] up by 10 degrees today, finish it off tomorrow and even bring her in on the evening tide.

"They have done some extra lashing on the heavy stuff - they seem to think the lashings are holding pretty well. I suspect it [ship] will be fine - it is just water inside which they can deal with.

"In terms of profile, they have handled it well. They have looked people in the eye and told them what is going on."

Once back in port, the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), will be looking to board and assess what caused the Hoegh Osaka to tip so dramatically, just a short time after leaving Southampton on 3 January bound for Germany and the Middle East.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the British government's Secretary of State Representative (SOSREP) for Salvage and Maritime Intervention, are currently meeting in Southampton to assess whether or not a tow will be possible at midnight tomorrow.

A berth has been secured at the port - the UK's busiest automotive transit point with 745,000 cars handled every year - some 60% of which are destined for export.