Singapore cargo ship runs aground, 25-member crew rescued

Twenty-five crew members of a Singapore-registered 51,000-tonne cargo vessel were rescued safely after the vessel ran aground off the Isle of Wight, British Coastguard said on Sunday.

London: Twenty-five crew members of a Singapore-registered 51,000-tonne cargo vessel were rescued safely after the vessel ran aground off the Isle of Wight, British Coastguard said on Sunday.

The cargo ship Hoegh Osaka became grounded on Bramble Bank in the Solent, near the Isle of Wight, at around 9.20pm last night and began listing to one side at 45 degrees, official sources said.

HM Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a helicopter mounted a rescue for the 25-member crew of the aground ship while Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats from Yarmouth, Calshot and Cowes were also sent to the scene.

"All of the crew have been accounted for and other than a couple of non life-threatening injuries, everyone is safe and well," Steve Carson, National Maritime Operations Centre commander said.

"Some of the crew were airlifted off the ship by coastguard helicopter and others were rescued from the sea by the three lifeboats that were on scene," an MCA source said.

It is not yet clear how the 180-metre ship got into difficulty.

The agency said the search and rescue mission was co-ordinated by National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham.

Carson said plans for salvage of were under way and he would not comment on how the ship ran aground.

"The investigation will follow and the authorities have been informed at this time. I will not speculate on the circumstances. We will have to wait until daylight to fully assess the situation," he said.

A statement from Hoegh Auto-liners, the ship's owner said it was assessing the damage and stability of the vessel.

"Hoegh Auto-liners primary concern has been for the crew on board and it has been confirmed that one crew member has been injured and he was airlifted to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth with non life-threatening injuries," it said.

Bramble Bank is a well-known sandbank in Southampton Water and hosts annual cricket matches between yachting clubs when the sands are exposed in low spring tides. 

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