Investigators from the Marine Accident Investigations Branch and a skeleton crew have boarded the Hoegh Osaka in preparation for the trip back to Southampton

A team of investigators from the Marine Accident Investigations Branch (MAIB) has boarded the stricken car carrier Hoegh Osaka.

They were joined yesterday (21 January) by a skeleton crew who will attempt to tow the vessel from Alpha Anchorage back to the Port of Southampton at 15:45 today.

This development comes after salvage firm Svitzer reduced the list of the Hoegh Osaka to 5 degrees by pumping more than 2,000 tonnes of water out of the repaired hull.

During the three-hour return voyage, the Coastguard will be enforcing a one-mile restricted airspace zone either side of the navigation route.

An MAIB investigation into the cause of the list is underway, with officials gathering information on-board the Hoegh Osaka, however their findings are unlikely to be published for several months.

The Hoegh Osaka has now been at sea for 19 days and made headlines across the world when it was intentionally grounded on Bramble Bank on 3 January after developing a 45-degree list.