£35 MILLION worth of Jaguar Cars stranded in the sea...

A tug boat pushes against the car carrier Hoegh Osaka after she became stranded on Bramble Bank, in the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight
A tug boat pushes against the car carrier Hoegh Osaka after she became stranded on Bramble Bank, in the Solent between Southampton and the Isle of Wight

A cargo ship stranded off the south coast of England was carrying a consignment of 1,200 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles and 105 Staffordshire-manufactured JCB diggers.

The 51,000-tonne Hoegh Osaka became stricken on the Bramble Bank between Southampton and the Isle of Wight after it sailed from the Hampshire port with its cargo of 1,400 cars. There were also 65 Mini vehicles on board.

The incident prompted a major rescue operation with the 24 crew members and a pilot having to be taken to safety by coastguard helicopter and RNLI lifeboats. Two people suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to hospital.

The vessel was on its way to Germany when it began to list and the crew grounded it deliberately to stop it from capsizing.

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed 1,200 of the cars on board were its models.

In a statement, JLR said: "We can confirm that we do have roughly 1,200 Jaguar and Land Rover products aboard the stricken ship.

"Until such time as the salvage operation can safely begin, we can tell you nothing further about the implications for the cargo.

"However, the most important consideration is that the crew are safe and well."

A spokesman for JCB said: "There are 105 JCB machines on board the stricken cargo ship, the Hoegh Osaka. These include 50-tonne and 33-tonne JCB tracked excavators. Also on board are backhoe loaders, Loadall telescopic handlers, wheeled loading shovels and Teletruk forklifts.

"We are awaiting further information from the shipping carrier about the current status of the machines and any plans they may have for retrieval."

A 200-metre exclusion zone has been set up around the ship to prevent small vessels interfering with the tugs and other shipping.

The ship is now listing at 50 degrees and a salvage operation is expected to take several days.

The transporter set sail from Southampton at about 8.20pm on Saturday Jabuary 3.

Ingar Skiaker, CEO of Hoegh Autoliners which owns the vessel, said: "We know the vessel was leaving Southampton with some cargo on board and while navigating out of the channel she apparently had a list.

"The captain and master and the pilot on board decided jointly to put the vessel on the sandbank to avoid any more serious problems.

"I think they executed their duties based on their best judgement and we're not second-guessing their actions right now.

"There has been no leakage of any oil or any other substances and that's our primary focus obviously now going forward, that we keep it that way."

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