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A successful three-week salvage operation was concluded on Thursday, when the 51,000 tonne Hoegh Osaka was safely assisted alongside Berth 101 at Southampton docks. The quick thinking of the master and pilot in deliberately beaching the car carrier on the Bramble Bank when the vessel developed a severe list to starboard immediately after departure from Southampton on 3 January, not only saved the ship from sinking and the unthinkable consequence of the main channel to the port being blocked, but also saved lives. Moreover, the “extraordinary dedication and courage” of the Svitzer salvage crews ensured the stricken ship’s survival and eventual return to the safety of port after pumping out more than 3,000 tonnes of water. Now surveyors can assess the extent of the damage to the vessel’s cargo of 1,400 expensive cars and JCB excavating equipment, and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch can complete its enquiries into what went wrong.