Hi distant star.
When it happened there was lots of speculation early on that it was an accident, having lived on the Isle of Wight all my life, and been highly dependant on the ferry crossing that passes this bar, I was fairly certain that it was intentional, or at the very least not human error! For a start she was facing back up Southampton water from where she had departed, and second, the pilots are on the vessel until they are well clear of the hazard of Brambles Bank and pilots wherever they are, are very well trained and conciseness about their responsibility. Yes I know they are human and therefore fallible but this is the first time I can recall this happening with anything other than pleasure craft.
It is speculated that there was some kind of failure with the ballast pumps as she went in to the turn, an incredibly tight turn at that, about 135 deg following a less tightly constrained 45deg turn in the opposite direction. When you look at the vessels head on as they turn they usually have a slight lean on! Not a good time for the balancing mechanism to fail!
I understand it was a joint decision by the captain and the pilot to drive her aground.
Hats off to the salvage crews who took great care of our environment and economic lively hood of the port during the salvage operation during some of the roughest weather we experience here, though I have seen programmes where they are shown doing equally well in much worse conditions.
I did notice in one shot that I could clearly see that the name was over painted which led me to dig about on the net and discover she had been renamed from a previous operator.
Nice shot of the sister ship too.
Thanks -- lots of nice pictures for something I'm interested in.
The ship pilot was roundly commended for a superb job of intentional grounding. Otherwise, it could have sunk in the channel and been a first-class mess. Also, the ship has been towed back to port and most of the vehicles are in good shape. These ships are like floating parking garages -- with five or so decks. Cars on board were mostly luxury Range Rovers and Jags.
Here's a sister ship, the Hoegh Berlin in the Delaware River at Philadelphia, PA...