The car carrier ‘Felicity Ace’ with a capacity of 6400 CEU and 656 feet in length, caught fire yesterday off the coast of the Azores in Portugal, along with its precious cargo comprising almost 4,000 luxury vehicles.
The Japanese owned car carrier ‘Felicity Ace’ built in 2005, with a market value today of USD 31.50 million, began transmitting distress signals after a fire broke out in one of the cargo decks. Fortunately, all 22 crew members are reported to have been evacuated safely, according to the New York Times. The vessel however is believed to have thousands of highly valuable Porsches, Volkswagens, Bentleys and Lamborghinis aboard, totalling over USD 200 million. At the moment it is unclear as to the full extent of valuable cargo lost.
Commenting on the incident, Dan Nash, Head of RoRos at VesselsValue said:
“There are very few suitable ships available in the market to replace her. MOL will have a difficult few days ahead dealing with insurance claims and fleet network changes.”
The vessel departed from Emden, Germany last Thursday and was on route to Davisville, US when the fire broke out. The ‘Felicity Ace’ last signalled at 12:11 on Thursday 17th February with a laden draft of 9.2m.
Updates From MOL
Statement 2 – 18th February 2022
Following the fire onboard the car carrier“Felicity Ace” on February 16, MOL Ship Management (Singapore) report that all crew members are now safe in a hotel in the Azores and all are in good health.
The Portuguese Navy, through the Ponta Delgada Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), has a warship standing by and monitoring the drift of Felicity Ace.
Managers have appointed a salvage company and an initial salvage team has arrived in the Azores and is on the way to the vessel estimated to arrive February 18(local time). Further salvage assets are being readied to attend the vessel.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines wishes to thank the Portuguese Navy, the local authorities in the Azores and those vessels that supported the rescue operation of the crew members in the best traditions of the Merchant marine.
Statement 1 – 17th February 2022
MOL Shipmanagement Singapore, managers of the car carrier “Felicity Ace” (IMO 9293911) report that the Panama Registered vessel has experienced a fire and the Master has taken the prudent decision to abandon the ship.
With assistance from commercial ships and helicopters in the area, all 22 crew members have been safely evacuated from the ship. All crew members have been taken ashore to the nearest island. At this time of the report, there has been no oil leakage observed from the vessel.
Felicity Ace was on passage from Germany to the USA, carrying car units, when the fire occurred in approximate position 37 deg.29.9N x 030 deg. 14.00W, some 90 nautical miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic. The fire was first reported at around 1130 hrs CET on February 16.
All the appropriate authorities have been alerted and are responding. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines as the operator of the vessel and MOL Shipmanagement Singapore has established an incident response team to coordinate the emergency.
As the safety of the crew members has been confirmed, MOL will make every effort to contain the damage and resolve the situation as the main priorities.
Press Release: VesselsValue & MOL