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Two Large Salvage Tugs Set to Join Felicity Ace Firefighting Effort

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

Two Large Salvage Tugs Set to Join Felicity Ace Firefighting Effort

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7636
February 21, 2022

Two large salvage tugs are expected to arrive at the Felicity Ace car carrier which remains adrift after a fire in the Atlantic Ocean.

An update from the ship’s manager, MOL Ship Management (Singapore), said the vessel is assumed to still be on fire and drifting south of the Azores and away from the islands.

So far here are no reports of oil leaking and the vessel remains stable.

An initial salvage team onboard a patrol boat is on-site.

Two large tugs with firefighting equipment were scheduled to arrive on the site on Monday to start spraying water on the vessel. The two tugs will also attempt to take the Felicity Ace in tow to prevent it from drifting.

The fire on the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace started on February 16th while on passage in Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 nautical miles southwest of the Azores. The ship was en route from Germany to the United States when the fire broke out.

All 22 crew members abandoned ship 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 has been reported to be carrying around 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, including some electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries.

Dutch salvage company Boskalis reported last week it had mobilized a team of sixteen salvage experts from its subsidiary SMIT Salvage to the Azores. Additional “large equipment” was sent from Spain and the Netherlands to assist with the firefighting.

MOL said the two large firefighting tugs will arrive from Gibraltar Monday, February 21, while an additional “salvage craft” with firefighting equipment is set to arrive from Rotterdam on February 26, two to three days later than initially expected.

The Portuguese Navy has remained on scene providing 24-hour monitoring of the vessel.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

The Felicity Ace was built in 2005 and is owned by Snowscape Car Carriers S.A., a subsidiary of MOL.

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