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A salvage team has successfuly boarded the Felicity Ace car carrier and attached a tow line to stop it from drifting more than a week after the ship was abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean, the ship’s manager said Friday.
Smoke emanating from the Felicity Ace is reported to have stopped and is no longer visible—the first we have heard since the fire broke out ten days ago. There are also still no reports of oil leakage and the stability of the ship remains stable, according to today’s update from MOL Ship Management (Singapore).
A salvage team has boarded the Felicity Ace by a helicopter and towing has commenced by the salvage tug ‘Bear’ to a safe area off the Azores.
Two additional tugs, ALP Guard and Dian Kingdom, together with a large anchor handling tug with additional firefighting capability, named V.B. Hispanic, are escorting the tow.
We are still yet to see an updated photo of the vessel since last Friday, February 18, when the fire was still burning uncontrollably.
The fire on the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace started 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.
Felicity Ace is reportedly carrying around 4,000 vehicles, including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, which are 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 cause of the fire is unknown.
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