Salvors are hoping they’ll be able to move the vessel in a few days but firm plans are yet to be finalised

Unsettled weather conditions continue to hamper the salvage operation of the Höegh Osaka car carrier, which grounded in the Solent on 3 January.

Stong gusts forecast for later this week are likely to mean activity on the vessel is curtailed, with winds peaking between 6pm Wednesday and 6am Thursday.

The ship’s anchor and three large tugs attached to the bow and stern are currently keeping the vessel in place and salvors are confident tomorrow’s strong winds should not present a problem, with extensive contingency plans in place for any unexpected movements.

A fourth tug is being used to transport workers and equipment to and from the vessel.

Speaking after a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, the Maritime and Salvage Intervention’s Hugh Shaw said the vessel remained stable despite the recent high winds.

However, salvors were unable to get onboard to continue work yesterday due to the weather conditions.

Mr Shaw said: “Our main priority is to ensure the ship remains in place. 3,000 tonnes of water is still on the ship, which is working to our advantage as it’s helping to stabilise the vessel and keep it in position.”

Once Wednesday and Thursday’s bad weather has passed, salvors are hoping they’ll be able to complete ballasting work to reduce the ship’s list before moving on to the next phase of the operation.

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