The ship, Felicity Ace, which was traveling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, Portugal, February 18, 2022. Portuguese Navy (Marinha Portuguesa)/Handout via REUTERS
Felicity Ace Response Stretches Into Second Week as Fire Continues to Burn
The Felicity Ace carrying around 4,000 vehicles continues to burn more than a week after catching fire in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Azores Islands.
White smoke coming off the car carrier has reduced compared to the last few days as two large firefighting tugs are now on scene with the drifting ship, according to an update from the shipmanager.
MOL Ship Management (Singapore) said the fire on the Felicity Ace is assumed to be still burning. Currently there is no confirmed oil leaking from the ship and its stability remains stable. White smoke from the vessel is still visible, but has reduced comparing to the past few days, the update said.
Two large salvage tugs, which arrived at the vessel on Monday from Gibraltar, continue to spray the vessel with water for hull and boundary cooling.
Two additional salvage vessels with firefighting and towing capability are expected to arrive Thursday.
Once conditions allow, a salvage team is expected to board the Felicity Ace for an initial assessment which will dictate future salvage and firefighting plans.
“MOL, MOL Ship Management (Singapore), and the salvage team are cooperating fully with local authorities and resources from the Azores to find an early solution to this incident,” the company said in its upate.
The fire on the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace started last Wednesday, February 16, approximately 90 nautical miles southwest of the Azores as the ship was underway from Embden, Germany to the United States.
All 22 crew members abandoned the vessel and were picked up by a nearby tanker and taken to shore by a Portuguese Navy helicopter. No significant injuries have been reported.
We have still not seen a new photo of the ship since last Friday, February 18.
Felicity Ace is reportedly carrying around 4,000 vehicles, including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, estimated to be valued at over $400 million. Some are also believed to be electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries, which has complicated the firefighting effort.
The shipmanagers have appointed Dutch salvage company SMIT Salvage, part of Boskalis.
The Portuguese Navy has also remained on scene providing continous monitoring.
The Felicity Ace was built in 2005 and is owned by Snowscape Car Carriers S.A., a subsidiary of MOL.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
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