MV Höegh Osaka

MV Höegh Osaka is a roll-on/roll-off car carrier ship that was built in 2000 as Maersk Wind for A P Møller, Singapore. She was sold to Höegh Autoliners (Leif Höegh & Co) in 2008 and later renamed Höegh Osaka in August 2011. On 3 January 2015 she developed a severe list and was intentionally grounded in the Solent. Her 24 crew and a pilot were subsequently rescued.

Maersk Wind at Southampton.
  • Maersk Wind (2000–11)
  • Höegh Osaka (since August 2011)
  • A P Møller, Singapore (2000–06)
  • Maersk Shipping, Singapore (2006–08)
  • Höegh Autoliners (since 2008)
  • A P Møller, Singapore (2000)
  • A P Møller-Maersk, Copenhagen (2000–07)
  • A P Møller, Singapore (2007–08)
  • Wallem Shipmanagement, Singapore (since 2008)
Port of registry:  Singapore
Ordered: 29 November 1997[1]
Builder: Tsuneishi Holdings Corporation, Nakatado, Japan
Yard number: 1161
Laid down: 3 December 1999
Launched: 1 May 2000
Completed: 7 September 2000
Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Car carrier
Length: 179.90 m (590 ft 3 in) (overall)[1]
Beam: 32.20 m (105 ft 8 in)[1]
Draught: 10.15 m (33 ft 4 in)[1]
Depth: 21.62 metres (70 ft 11 in)
Installed power: Mitsubishi 8UEC60LS diesel engine, 19,140 hp (14,270 kW)
Propulsion: Single shaft; fixed-pitch propeller
Speed: 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h; 22.1 mph)
Crew: 24


The ship is 179.90 metres (590 ft 3 in) long overall (171.30 metres [562 ft 0 in] between perpendiculars), with a beam of 32.20 metres (105 ft 8 in). She has a depth of 21.62 metres (70 ft 11 in). Her draught is 10.15 metres (33 ft 4 in).[1]

The ship is powered by a Mitsubishi 8UEC60LS diesel engine, rated at 19,140 horsepower (14,270 kW). It drives a single fixed-pitch propeller,[2] which can propel the ship at 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h; 22.1 mph).[3] She is assessed at 51,770 GT, 16,886 DWT,[4] 15,532 NT.[5] The ship has a capacity of 2,520 cars or 450 lorries.[2]


The ship was built in 2000 at yard number 1161 by Tsuneishi Holdings Corporation, Nakatado District, Kagawa, Japan. The keel was laid on 3 December 1999 and the ship was launched as Maersk Wind on 1 May 2000 initially under AP Møller, Singapore management. Management was transferred to AP Møller-Maersk, Copenhagen, Denmark later in 2000. Management was transferred back in 2007. In 2008,[2] the ship was sold to Höegh Autocarriers and renamed Höegh Osaka.[3]

The port of registry is Singapore. It has IMO number 9185463 and MMSI number 563248000, and call sign is S6TY. [5] The ship has a maximum speed of 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h). Höegh Osaka is owned by Höegh Autoliners and operated under the management of Wallem Shipmanagement, Singapore.[3]

January 2015 grounding

On 3 January 2015 Höegh Osaka was loaded at Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom with a ro-ro cargo of buses, construction equipment and Range Rover cars in addition to some unspecified cargo already on board. More cargo was to be loaded at Bremerhaven, Germany, its next stop and then at Hamburg, Germany for more cargo and refuelling. This was a change from the normal route of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and then Southampton.[6]

A pilot embarked at 19:30 and the ship departed at 20:06. At 20:59, the ship made a starboard turn and entered the Thorn Channel travelling at 10 knots (19 km/h). After entering the channel speed increased to 12 knots (22 km/h). At 21:09, Höegh Osaka made a port turn at the West Bramble Buoy and developed a severe list. The pilot gave the order to stop engines at 21:10, and expressed doubts in respect of the metacentric height (GM) of the vessel. As the list increased, the ship's propeller and rudder came clear of the water. The ship grounded on the Bramble Bank off the Isle of Wight at 21:15,[6] and settled with a list that would eventually reach 52°.[7] According to the owners they beached the vessel intentionally on the Bramble Bank in the Solent.[8][9][10]

At 21:19 the D-class inshore lifeboat from Calshot Lifeboat Station was called out. The tugs Svitzer Ferriby and Svitzer Surrey, in Southampton Water at the time, were also sent to the assistance of Höegh Osaka. A Severn-class lifeboat from Yarmouth and an Atlantic 85-class lifeboat from Cowes, Isle of Wight were called out. The second Calshot Lifeboat was then called out. A Coastguard AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter from RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus) was called out and the tug Apex was also sent to assist.[6][11][12]

At 21:54, Svitzer Ferriby arrived at the Bramble Bank and assisted in beaching the ship. One crew member broke an arm and a leg when he fell and slid for about 18 metres (59 ft) in a corridor as the ship listed. A crew member jumped into the water as a lifeboat approached and was rescued. Six crew were winched aboard the helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent and landed there.[6][13] RFA Lyme Bay assisted in the coordination of the rescue efforts. A crew member from the Yarmouth Lifeboat was winched onto Höegh Osaka to assist with the evacuation. [6] A Royal Air Force Westland Sea King helicopter was called out from RAF Chivenor. [12] The National Police Air Service also sent a helicopter equipped with night vision equipment. All crew except pilot, captain and chief officer had been rescued by 00:15 on 4 January. All were evacuated at 02:09 because the vessel's list was increasing as the tide fell.[6]

The ship was carrying a cargo of 1,400 vehicles and about 70 pieces of construction equipment. Svitzer were appointed as salvers. A 200 metres (220 yd) maritime exclusion zone was set up around the ship,[14] and airspace below 200 feet (61 m) closed to aircraft within 1 mile (1.6 km).[7] An attempt to refloat the ship was scheduled for 7 January,[15] but cancelled because more water than expected was discovered inside the vessel.[16] The ship refloated without outside assistance later that day assisted by high tide and strong winds, taken in tow and moored approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) east at Alpha Anchorage, between East Cowes and Lee-on-the-Solent to await further salvage operations.[17] On 22 January, Höegh Osaka was towed in to Southampton, salvage operations having reduced the list to 5°.[18]

Return to service

On 10 February, Höegh Osaka departed from Southampton for Falmouth, Cornwall to be repaired.[19] The ship returned to service on 20 February 2015, sailing from Falmouth via Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea headed for Bar, Montenegro.[20]


The Marine Accident Investigation Branch opened an investigation into the accident.[21] Its report into the incident was published on 17 March 2016.[6]

The investigation found that plans for the loading of the cargo had not been changed despite the change in itinerary. No calculation of the vessel's stability had been made, a practice found to be common across many operators' fleets. The weight of cargo on board had been underestimated, being 265 tonnes greater than estimated. The investigation found that although the cargo had shifted as a result of the ship listing, it was not the cause of the list. The ship's ballast water system was not fully serviceable, all but one of the gauges for each ballast tank were unserviceable, a situation that had existed since at least July 2014. It was possible to take manual readings of the amount of water in each ballast tank. The chief officer was in the habit of calculating how much water was transferred between tanks by timing the pumps and using their capacity of 7 tonnes per minute. Some of the straps used to secure the cargo to the deck were found not to meet regulations in force at the time, only being half as strong as they should have been.[6]

See also


  1. "Höegh Osaka (20636)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  2. "Maersk Wind - IMO 9185463". Scheepvartwest. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  3. "HÖEGH OSAKA". Höegh Autoliners. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  4. "Cyber Shipping Guide". Ocean Commerce Ltd. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  5. "HOEGH OSAKA". Vesselfinder. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  6. "Report on the investigation into the listing, flooding and grounding of Hoegh [sic] Osaka Bramble Bank, The Solent, UK on 3 January 2015" (PDF). Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  7. "Investigation into listing Hoegh [sic] Osaka cargo ship begins". BBC News Online. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  8. "Hoegh [sic] Osaka cargo ship 'grounded deliberately' in Solent". British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015. A car transporter ship was grounded in the Solent deliberately after it began to list, its owners have said. … Mr Skiaker 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."
  9. Wright, Richard. "Höegh Osaka:"Too early" to say why she went aground". Isle of Wight County Press Online. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  10. "Hoegh [sic] Osaka - MAIB investigation launched". Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  11. "Major operation to rescue stricken Hoegh [sic] Osaka ship resumes in The Solent". The Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  12. "Fears for giant car transporter at centre of dramatic rescue operation after running aground in Solent". Southern Daily Echo. 4 January 2015.
  13. "Cargo ship runs aground in Solent". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  14. Secretary of State’s Representative (5 January 2015). "Port of Southampton – Central Solent – Bramble Bank – Notification of Temporary Exclusion Zone" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  15. "Cargo ship Solent: Stricken vessel 'could be refloated'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  16. "Cargo ship Solent: Stricken vessel 'refloat delayed'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  17. "Cargo ship: Stricken Solent vessel 'under control'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  18. "Update 3: Hoegh [sic] Osaka set for towage". World Maritime News. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  19. "Stranded Solent ship: Hoegh [sic] Osaka leaves Southampton for Falmouth repairs". BBC News Online. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  20. "Hoegh [sic] Osaka repaired alongside County Wharf". Falmouth Packet. 26 February 2015.
  21. "Operation to free Hoegh [sic] Osaka under way". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
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