Photo released by the Portuguese Navy on March 1 showing the Felicity Ace badly burned and listing to starboard. Photo: Marinha PT

Felicity Ace Sinking: Large-Scale Oil Spill ‘Unlikely’, Says Ship Manager

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6111
March 17, 2022

A large-scale oil spill is unlikley from the sunken Felicity Ace car carrier, the ship’s manager said in an update.

Felicity Ace sank on March 1 around 220 nautical miles off the Azores nearly two weeks after suffering fire and developing starboard list.

The oil slick seen at the time of the sinking has drifted as it dissipated and experts say it will soon disappear, according to MOL Ship Management (Singapore).

MOL said only a small amount of oil had surfaced as an oil film from the site of the sinking. “We have also obtained the opinion by the experts that it will gradually dissipate as it drifts,” the company said.

“In accordance with expert organizations opinion that it is unlikely that a large-scale oil spill will occur and it is appropriate to continue observation using satellite photographs for a while, we will continue to observe the situation using satellite photos and establish a system to respond quickly to the situation,” it said.

MOL has not publicly confirmed how much oil the ship contained when it sank.

Satellite observation company SkyTruth identified a “sizable oil slick” on the surface in the days following the sinking.

The fire on the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace started on February 16 as the ship was located approximately 90 nm from the Azores during a voyage from Embden, Germany to the U.S. East Coast. All 22 crew members abandoned the ship safely and were rescued.

Reporting has indicated Felicity Ace was carrying around 4,000 vehicles, including VW and Audis, and some luxury brands like Porsches, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis.

The value of the cargo has been estimated to be over $400 million.

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