1,200 luxury vehicles stranded on cargo ship
1,200 of Jaguar Land Rover’s luxury vehicles have been stranded inside a 51,000-ton cargo ship off the southern coast of England for more than a week now. The Germany-bound car transporter ship, which belongs to Hoegh Osaka, began listing shortly after leaving the port of Southhampton and was deliberately ran aground on Bramble Bank to avoid losing the entire vessel. A JLR spokesman said to Reuters, “We are still evaluating what has happened. Our main objective is to get sold orders to customers.”
Besides the JLR vehicles, there are also another 65 Mini’s and one Rolls Royce Wraith on board awaiting rescue. Although the ship could actually accommodate up to 5,400 cars, it was only filled up to about a third of its full capacity, including some construction equipment besides the cars, so overloading can be ruled out as the cause of the problem.
JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, did not provide any estimation of the value of the cargo, which is covered by insurance anyhow; calculations by experts place the value of the 1,200 premium vehicles at close to US$152 million. The Mini’s retail for an average of US$30,000 each and a standard Wraith coupe retails for US$285,000 (the one on the ship was custom-made).
There are also 500 tonnes of marine diesel oil in the ship, and there is of course the danger of this spilling into the environment. Luckily, none of the fuel has leaked into the waters yet and nature had rolled up her sleeves to help, providing high tides that refloated the enormous ship so that it could be towed to safety. Salvage experts have begun pumping out the 3000-tonnes of water that had accumulated inside the ship.
The salvers have yet to provide any report on the condition of the expensive cargo, which should have been tethered down securely, thus leaving most of them undamaged. But considering that the ship has listed near a 45 degree angle and the restraints were not designed for an incline such as this, there is a possibility that the cars might have moved. Hang in there, guys! They are going get you out of there!
Oh yes, the immeasurably more precious human lives on board – all 25 of them – were all saved.