Felicity Ace sinks

Written by Nick Blenkey
Felicity Ace prior to sinking

Portuguese Navy photograph shows Felicity Ace under tow prior to losing stability and sinking.

MOL Ship Management (Singapore) reported today that the car carrier Felicity Ace sank at around 9 a.m. local time, some 200 nautical miles off the Azores. The vessel had been in trouble since February 16, when a fire broke out that forced the crew to abandon the vessel. They were picked up by the nearby tanker Resilient Warrior and subsequently airlifted to safety by the Portuguese Air Force.

The vessel had been en route to the Port of Davisville, R.I., from Emden, Germany with a shipment of Volkswagen AG luxury vehicles.

With no crew on board, the fire continued to rage until salvors could get to the scene.

On February 25, MOL Ship management said that there was no longer visible smoke from the vessel and that it remained stable.

The salvage team on site were able to board Felicity Ace by a helicopter and the vessel had started being towed by the large salvage craft Bear to a safe area off Azores.

​Two tugs ALP Guard and Dian Kingdom, together with a large salvage craft with additional firefighting capability, VB Hispanic, were escorting the vessel.

​ This morning, though, the Portuguese Navy said that, early in the morning, during the tow, which had started on February 24, the Felicity Ace lost stability and sank at about 25 nautical miles, the equivalent of 46 kilometers, outside the limit of the Economic and Exclusive Zone of Portugal, in an area with a water depth of around 3,000 meters.

There have been estimates that with the 3,965 cars onboard including 189 Bentleys, along with brands like Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini, losses from Felicity Ace incident could top $500 million.

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