Optares in grounded ship
Ten single deck Optare buses were on board the cargo ship that grounded in the Solent on 3 January.
The Hoegh Osaka was carrying the buses to a customer in the Middle East. They were stranded after the pilot and the master took the decision to save the listing vessel and its crew by grounding it on Bramble Bank in the Solent after leaving Southampton Port. Salvage teams have boarded the vessel, which is at an angle of 52 degrees, to assess the impact of the grounding, but at the time of going to press it was too early to determine the status of the cargo on board. Hoegh Autoliners, the operator of the grounded ship, is in touch with Optare and sending updates as and when they become available. The Leeds based manufacturer is working closely with the customer the buses were headed to in an effort to reduce the impact of the delayed delivery. It is understood that the ship was only one third full and was also carrying 1,400 cars and 105 JCB machines.
It has not been confirmed but B&CB believes that the vehicles are Solos destined for the operation in Bahrain announced at the beginning of October 2014 and in which National Express is a partner.