The stricken car carrier Hoegh Osaka has drifted off Bramble Bank at high tide amid Force 7 winds, the Coastguard has announced

The Hoegh Osaka has drifted off Bramble Bank this afternoon, with high tide and strong winds freeing the stricken car carrier.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed the news after online reports surfaced at around 2pm today.

In a statement, the MCA said: “The vessel has self-floated at high water and the intention is to tow her to a holding position in Southampton Water pending a full assessment of her condition.

“A decision on the next phase of the salvage operation will be made after the assessment.”

This holding position is now believed to be at Alpha Anchorage, two miles east of Bramble Bank, just outside Portsmouth Harbour.

An earlier plan to attempt a Hoegh Osaka refloat at high tide was scrapped last night, due to inclement weather conditions, but it seems Mother Nature forced the salvors’ hands at around 1:55pm.

A third Svitzer tug has been called into action to take advantage of the situation, which has been made worse by Force 7 winds.

As a result, Hampshire Marine Police has warned all vessels to keep well clear and observe a 300-metre exlusion zone around Hoegh Osaka.

Keep checking back with MBY.com for all the latest news on the Hoegh Osaka.