Flaming luxury car transporter finally sinks — Analysis
Around 4,000 vehicles were destroyed when the Felicity Ace, en route to the US from Germany, sinks in fiery flames
Felicity Ace was a cargo ship carrying nearly 4,000 luxury cars. It has now sunk from the Azores archipelago. This likely takes with it all hope for finding the cause of the flames that have been burning aboard Felicity Ace since the beginning of last month. According to MOL Ship Management (the managers of Panama-flagged ship), the ship went down around 9am on Tuesday.
It was seen moving to starboard and then sinking. There were debris and oil on the surface as the ship went 220 nautical mile off the Azores. The Department of Pollution of Portugal’s National Maritime Authority and the European Maritime Safety Agency are monitoring the dispersal of the slick, according to the Portuguese Navy.
The fire erupted over the course of a week. It was extraordinarily stubborn due to lithium-ion battery packs onboard, known for being highly flammable. However, it’s not clear what started the blaze, and tugboats and salvage ships were in the process of towing the 650ft-long ship to port in order to perform a detailed examination of the remnants of its cargo.
The vessel’s sinking may have been caused by the weather that hampered the rescuers who were preparing to reach the Felicity Ace port. According to Russell Group risk analysis, $400 million was the value of cargo. This will increase the already high US car demand, which is currently suffering from supply-chain disruptions.
A Volkswagen internal email stated that 3,965 cars were on board the ship, which included Porsche, Lamborghini, and other high-end vehicles made by Audi and VW. En route from Emden (Germany) to Rhode Island, US, the ship caught on fire. The vessel caught fire on February 16th, while en route from Emden in Germany to a port in Rhode Island. All 22 crewmembers were evacuated safely.
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