Photo: Felicity Ace; Image by Portuguese Navy

Update: Additional support on the way to burning car carrier off Azores

Felicity Ace, the 6,400 CEU car carrier which caught fire on 16 February, is assumed to remain on fire south of the Azores currently drifting away from the islands, according to the update on the incident.

Two large tugs with firefighting equipment were arranged to support the vessel, one of which was to arrive from Gibraltar on Sunday, 20 February. A second tug, also from Gibraltar is scheduled to arrive on the scene today, 21 February.

As informed, a salvage craft with firefighting equipment is also set to arrive from Rotterdam on 23-24 February.

Currently, there is no oil leakage confirmed from the vessel, which remains stable.

On 18 February, MOL Ship Management in Singapore reported that all crew members were safe and in a good health in a hotel in the Azores.

The Portuguese Navy, through the Ponta Delgada Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC), also has a warship standing by and monitoring the drift of Felicity Ace.

The cause of the accident remains unclear. However, speaking for Reuters late on Saturday, 19 February, Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told that lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles on board are “keeping the fire alive”.

According to data provided by VesselsValue, Felicity Ace is believed to carry almost 4,000 luxury vehicles, totalling over $200 million.

MOL regrets for the inconvenience and concern caused. MOL will make every effort to contain the damage and resolve the situation as the main priorities”, the vessel’s owner stated.

To remind, the vessel departed from the port in Emden, Germany on 10 February. It was expected to arrive at Davisville, Rhode Island on 23 February.

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