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Felicity Ace sinks following fire

The car carrier Felicity Ace, which caught fire in the Atlantic in February, has sunk, according to the vessel’s manager.

MOL Ship Management said its managed 2005-built pure car and truck carrier Felicity Ace sank on 1 March.

‘Initial reports from the local salvage team state that the vessel had sunk at around 0900 hrs local time having suffered a list to starboard,’ MOL said in a statement.

‘The last vessel position was around 220 nautical miles off the Azores. The salvage crafts will remain around the area to monitor the situation.’

The 60,000gt Panama-flagged vessel caught fire on 16 February 2022. Initial reports mentioned flames coming from its main deck as the crew of 22 were evacuated to other vessels in the area.

Felicity Ace sailed from the German port of Emden with 4,000 Volkswagen-Audi Group vehicles destined for discharge at US east coast ports. The cargo is estimated to have a combined value of as much as $400 million.

At the end of February, MOL said smoke which had previously been pouring from the ship had stopped while an on-site salvage team, provided by Smit, boarded Felicity Ace by helicopter.

The vessel was subsequently taken under tow by the Boskalis-owned Fire Fighting Vessel Bear destined for a safe area off the Azores.

Two other tugs, Alp Guard and Dian Kingdom, together with the fire-fighting salvage vessel VB Hispania were escorting the vessel.

With Felicity Ace having sunk in water with a depth of between 600m and 3,000m, the likelihood of determining the cause of the fire is remote.

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