On Wednesday 16th February, 2022 the 2005 built 200 metres long vehicle carrier carrying various cargo including 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys amongst nearly 4,000 vehicles caught fire about 200 miles from Terceira Island in the Azores.
The Portuguese Navy (Marinha Portuguese) airlifted the 22 crew members which abandoned the ship and survived. Meanwhile the ship is being monitored by the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) P 363 NRP SETUBAL
FELICITY ACE continues to drift in the waters approximately 90 nautical miles south of Horta in the Azores. The fire appears to have spread the length of the 200 metre vessel and while she is reported to be stable in mostly calm seas, she has developed a slight list.
The owner and manager of the vessel, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines via a subsidiary Snowcape Car Carriers, reports that the crew has all been safely transferred to a hotel in the Azores. At the same time, Boskalis’ SMIT Salvage has transferred a 16 member team to the Azores while large equipment is on route from Spain and the Netherlands to assist with the fire fighting. The initial team was expected to arrive at the vessel today, but ocean-going tugs, however, are not expected to reach the car carrier till possibly next Wednesday, February 23rd.
Horta Harbour Master stated that they continue to monitor the situation along with the Portuguese Navy. However, he said that the hulk would not be permitted to enter their environmentally protected zone. It has been suggested that the salvage team might have to tow the vessel either to the Bahamas or to Europe.
All photographs courtesy of Portuguese Navy.
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Published – Monday 21st February, 2022.