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Author Topic:   Maritime Casualty: HOEGH OSAKA
jimh posted 03-07-2015 09:39 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
From time to time we have discussed or at least brought to everyone's attention some notable maritime casualties. The intentional grounding of the Roll-On-Roll-Off automobile carrier vessel HOEGH OSAKA in January 2015 while departing the port of Southhampton, England is quite an interesting incident. The ship developed a severe list, more than 50-degrees, while leaving The Solent, and the captain and pilot made a quick decision to intentionally ground the vessel on a sand bank on the side of the navigation channel as a way to prevent a capsize.

The ship was carrying about 1,400 luxury automobiles of the Range Rover, Porsche, and Jaguar marques. The cargo value has been said to be greater than US-$45-million. Due to the extreme angle of the list, some of the cargo was damaged. Cars were dented, and some heavy equipment being carried may have broken loose.

The grounding occurred on the night of January 3, 2015. A marine salvage firm was able to repair hull damage from the grounding and correct the list to only a few degrees. The HOEGH OSAKA was towed off the sand bar at high tide and eventually returned to port some time later on January 22, 2015.

The valuable automobiles thus spent some amount of time--exactly how long is not clear--on the stranded vessel laying at a very odd angle of 52-degrees. Just how remaining in that attitude for some duration will affect the cars is not clear. In a previous maritime casualty involving similar circumstances, many thousands of new Mazda automobiles were intentionally crushed and destroyed rather than be sold, out of fear for future liabilities stemming from unknown damage that might have occurred in their transport. The fate of the luxury automobiles from the HOEGH OSAKA remains to be determined.

The cause of the sudden listing has not yet been found, as far as I can know. There is a good article with many large photographic images available at

http:/ / www. dailymail. co. uk/ news/ article-2928552/ Hundreds-luxury- Land-Rovers-finally-dry-land-traumatic-journey-capsized-transporter-have n-t-survived-trip-well. html

Using AIS data recorded from the ship, SRT Marine has used their GeoVS 3D simulation software to produce a very interesting 3-D simulation of the grounding. See

jimh posted 03-07-2015 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As we have come to expect in the age of the Internet, more information about the HOEGH OSAKA is available on Wikipedia:

frontier posted 03-07-2015 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
Amazing pictures and article.
I wonder if you could get a hot deal on that $390,000.00 Rolls Royce on the ship?
Assuming, of course, that it could tow a Boston Whaler.
boatdryver posted 03-07-2015 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
In the case of marine casualties such as this, with no loss of life, is the cause of the casualty ever made public?


jimh posted 03-08-2015 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the Department of Transportation of the United Kingdom is currently conducting an investigation into the grounding of the HOEGH OSAKA. See:

jimh posted 03-08-2015 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I suspect the investigation will find the list was caused by some error in ballasting of the vessel. There is a quite similar earlier incident involving the RORO vessel M/V COUGAR ACE. See

for a comprehensive report.

jimh posted 03-10-2015 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One interesting aspect in this incident: many of the cars may have had AGM batteries. The AGM batteries may have prevented any leaking of battery acid while in the high-angle listing condition. Here is one time when having an AGM battery might have been a nice payback.

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