Many, if not most of us saw the reports and the story regarding the cargo ship that ran aground last month in the English Channel. What you may not have seen or heard about is the quick thinking and decision making of the Captain and crew that saved their lives, a vast majority of the cargo and the ship itself. Aboard this vessel were several vehicles bound for various destinations which obviously experienced a delay in delivery to their destinations. Although this delay may be an inconvenience, the actions of the Captain and crew were lifesaving as well as saving a large amount of product for the companies who have trusted this shipping company with the delivery of their products.
The name of the ship is the Hoegh Osaka which spent three weeks sitting at a fifty-degree angle on the Bramble Bank sandbar. The ship owners Hoegh Autoliners stated this 51,000-ton ship “developed a severe list shortly after she left port” and the pilot and master made the decision to save the ship and the crew by grouding it on the bank near Southampton. With such a severe angle of lean many of the cars onboard were damaged as reports through several new sources, but what might not have been reported was most of the cars on board were undamaged and some were even able to be driven out under their own power.
Originally, with a massive amount of rumors flying about what cars were aboard the vessel, speculations were there was ten percent of Bentley’s annual product aboard the vessel, which turned out to be completely false. What actually were aboard this ship were 1200 JLR products and 65 Minis. With this ship sitting for so long at this angle the expectation was a majority of the vehicles would be damaged beyond repair, but the salvage crew took painstaking care in balancing this ship then offloaded the vehicles from the vessel.
Many cars were damaged, and those that were will most likely never make it to dealerships as many dealers do not want deliver of a vehicle they immediately have to repair, especially when there have been no previous owners. Because of the swift thinking of the Captain and crew aboard the ship was saved, a majority of the cargo was saved and most importantly those aboard were saved. What could have been a catastrophic event turned out to be a saving opportunity for those aboard the Hoegh Osaka.
What might happen to the vehicles that were damaged during the tilt of the ship? I would venture a guess many of them will go up for auction allowing smart auction shoppers to become owners of cars that not only have low miles, but in many cases no miles. Some of these vehicles may only require minor body work to look like new and others may require more in depth repair to be conducted, either way this accident can turn out the be a good thing all the way around, especially for the crewmembers whose lives were saved.