THIS is the stunning footage of one of the biggest and most striking maritime rescues ever held in the Solent.

A timelapse video shows an iconic view of the Hoegh Osaka being towed from Lee-on-the-Solent into the Port of Southampton.

The sped up footage shows stages of the 51,000 tonne vessel's journey from her holding position in Lee-on-the-Solent to her final berth at the city's docks.

The film is shot from positions on Calshot - showing her four tugs towing her against the backdrop of afternoon sunshine - and later at Mayflower Park during a dusky sunset as she approaches her final resting place in Berth 101.

Yesterday's operation was the largest maritime rescue operations held off Southampton's waters.

It was spearheaded by the Martime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Svitzer salvage crews.

The salvors are today expected to formally hand over the vessel to the owners Hoegh while work is continuing to assess the 1,400 luxury cars and 105 JCBs and large pieces of plant machinery the ship is carrying.

Last night Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin congratulated the team who oversaw the operation.​

He said: “I congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly day and night to bring this ship back to port. I would like to pay particular tribute to Hugh Shaw who oversaw the operation, with the help of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, salvage operators, and the pilots and tugs of the port of Southampton.

"They battled exceptionally difficult weather conditions with extraordinary dedication and courage. A full investigation into how the incident occurred is ongoing.”

The ship was beached deliberately on Bramble Bank sandbank, near Southampton, on January 3 after it began listing as it left the Hampshire port.

It floated free from the sandbank on the high tide on January 7 and was anchored at a spot two miles east at Alpha Anchorage, near Lee-on-the-Solent, before being towed to Southampton last night.