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Stricken Solent ship towed back to shore

Nineteen days after it was deliberately grounded on a sandbank in the Solent, the stranded car carrier Hoegh Osaka has been towed back to shore.

The Hoegh Osaka was deliberately run aground on a sandbank between Southampton and the Isle of Wight on January 3rd when crew realised it was in trouble.

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Ship's pilot and master 'made the decision to ground vessel'

The chief executive of Hoegh Autoliners, Ingar Skiaker.

The men in charge of the Hoegh Osaka deliberately ran the cargo ship aground in the Solent to "save the vessel and the crew", according to the head of the company that owns the ship.

Ingar Skiaker told a press conference it was "too early" to say what had gone wrong, but that there would be an investigation to establish what happened.

At this stage it's too early to speculate on the cause of this accident. The vessel did develop a severe list shortly after she left port and the pilot and the master made the decision to save the vessel and the crew by grounding her on the bank. This showed great skill and seamanship and they had to make quick decision and they did that in a very good fashion.

– Ingar Skiaker, chief executive of Hoegh Autoliners

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