The car carrier was moved to a holding position on Wednesday after the vessel self floated

The Höegh Osaka car carrier is to remain in the Solent until the week after bad weather conditions have delayed its salvage.

The vessel is reported to be stable and is currently in a holding position near an area called Spitbank.

Severe weather warnings were issued earlier this week by the Met Office as two Atlantic storms are set to bring winds of up to 90mph to parts of the UK.

Three tugs helped keep the vessel in place overnight on Wednesday, despite being affected by blustery conditions in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokesperson said: “Up to 3,000 tons of water is estimated to be on the vessel. Work will start today (Thursday), when the weather improves, to pump this water off.”

“An oily film has formed on top of this water from the hydraulics of the vehicles on board. The salvors will use a technique that draws the water from the bottom of the vessel to avoid this oily film.”

Removing water from the vessel should reduce the vessel’s list.

Before being moved to the Port of Southampton, a hull inspection needs to be completed by divers, water that entered the ship through a now-repaired crack needs to be removed, as well as ballasting operations to reduce the list.

All this is expected to take between five and seven days.

The MCA added: “Salvage teams are on board the vessel today and the Queen’s Harbour Master has now introduced an exclusion zone of 300m to remove the risk of leisure users of the Solent.

“Forecast predict worsening weather at 3am on Friday, which abates during the morning before picking up again at 3pm and reaching very high winds Saturday morning.”

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Photo credit: GrahamAndDairne