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by James Ward

Seeing a giant cargo ship run aground is always a confronting sight – but knowing the MV Hoegh Osaka, sitting atop Bramble Bank near the Isle of Wight, UK, is holding an estimated 1400 luxury cars only makes it more confronting.

Reportedly run aground by the crew to stop it capsizing after it started listing dangerously, the 180-metre-long, 51,000-tonne Hoegh Osaka is a vehicle transporter known as a RORO – for Roll On, Roll Off.

Reports suggest the vessel was carrying British-built cars from Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover, BMW/Mini and Rolls-Royce and was heading to Bremerhaven, Germany.

The 25 crew members were all rescued safely and a salvage operation is underway.

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A salvage team has already boarded the ship to assess the damage to the ship, which is likely to be saved – but depending on the time taken to refloat the Hoegh Osaka, the cars on board may not share such a pleasant fate.

In 2006, the Cougar Ace transport vessel, carrying almost 5000 new Mazdas to the US, suffered a ballast stabilisation fault and listed in shipping lanes near Alaska.

While the ship was salvaged (read the amazing story here), the cars had been sitting at too great an angle for too long, that Mazda was concerned the vehicles could have suffered salt-water corrosion or fluid displacement issues that may cause potential failures in future.

These failures could lead to expensive warranty claims, or potentially harmful accidents – so the decision was made to shred all the cars, even down to their wheelnuts, to prevent any parts showing up in circulation.

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Mazdas from the Cougar Ace on their way to the shredder

Hopefully the no-doubt lovely Range Rover Sports and Jaguar F-Types on the Hoegh Osaka survive their ordeal, but if you are sitting in Germany waiting on your new Rolls-Royce Wraith to arrive… you may want to get a good book, as there could be a delay.




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