By yesterday February 22nd the fire on car carrier Felicity Ace (IMO 9293911), which is still situated off the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands, had begun to ease, apparently mainly because most cars above the waterline had been burnt out.
The vessel was reported to be stable, in a position approximately 90nm south of Horta in the Azores. It had developed a slight list.
Cargo claims specialist WK Webster suggested that the fire has spread throughout the entire length of the vessel above the waterline, while vehicles stowed below the waterline were likely to have been damaged either by burning debris from upper decks or by the water used to fight the fire, or both.
A team of 16 salvage experts was reported to have been deployed to the Azores to assist with the fire-fighting operations, with ocean-going tugs expected to reach the vessel either today February 23rd or tomorrow.
The Port Captain of Horta port is reported to have advised that the vessel will not be permitted to enter the port because of environmental concerns. Consequently, the vessel may be taken under tow to the Bahamas or to a European port as a place of refuge.
It has been reported that there were 3,965 vehicles stowed on board the vessel, including vehicles manufactured by Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen and Lamborghini, with an estimated total value of approximately $255m. 2005-built, Panama-flagged, 60,118 gt Felicity Ace is owned by Snowscape Car Carriers SA care of MOL of Tokyo, Japan. It is managed by MOLship of Tokyo, Japan. ISM manager is MOL Ship management Singapore. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of Snowscape Car Carriers SA