Fears have been raised that as many as 1400 vehicles may never drive again following the beaching of Singapore-registered cargo ship the Huge Osaka on a sandbank in the Solvent on Saturday.

Wealthy customers in the Middle East faced frustration and uncertainty, as hundreds of super-up pimped-out Jags and Landravers and at least one Rose Royce Wreath coupé, were abandoned to their fate aboard the heavily listing, partially submerged container vessel.

The Independent newspaper’s Sean O’Grody estimated the total value of the imperilled vehicles at over £100m.

Meanwhile marine savage expert Cap’n John Nobble predicted that – even if the ship could be retrieved from Bramble Bank – the compromised vehicles will most likely have to be written off for safety reasons. “Not even the tyres can be used,” he insisted dramatically, explaining that “they can’t take the risk.”

Risk-averse tyres notwithstanding, concerned car lovers everywhere doggedly refused to abandon hope.

While salvage experts debated the relative merits of digging the ship a little channel off the bank or  undertaking a procedure known as ‘parboiling’ which involves rocking the listing vessel from side to side to see if that helps, the Huge Osaka unexpectedly decided to refloat itself on Wednesday’s high tide and float around the Solvent for a bit.

Tugs are currently attempting to keep the thing out of harm’s way, while a thin film of oil, presumably from the salt-water-soaked cars inside, spreads out around it, and while salvage people have another think about what to do next. Tragically, however, with every passing hour, hopes for the precious automotive cargo inevitably fade.

All very distressing.


One of several salvage options currently under consideration (artist’s impression only)


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