… with £295m worth of luxury cars
The Guardian among others reported earlier this week that an abandoned cargo ship that caught fire in the mid-Atlantic last week was carrying $401m (£295m) worth of cars, including Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini models, an insurance estimate has revealed.
Felicity Ace, a specialist cargo ship carrying more than 4,000 cars, caught alight near the Azores on Wednesday evening. The vessel’s 22 crew members were evacuated but the fire continued to burn for several days, fuelled by lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles on board.
Insurance experts said on Monday they estimated that $438m of goods were on the ship, including an estimated $401m of cars and goods vehicles, and speculated that the incident would result in losses of at least $155m for Volkswagen, which owns Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini.
acorianooriental reported yesterday that “the merchant cargo ship Felicity Ace remains stable, 195 nautical miles south of the island of Faial in the Acores, with no visible fires, with two tugboats remaining in place for cooling down” according to a press release sent by the Navy.
The vessel issued an alert on February 16, for having an “active fire in the cargo hold”, at a time when it was about 90 miles southwest of the island of Faial. The 22 crew members aboard the Felicity Ace were safely rescued on the same day by the Portuguese Air Force.
On Monday, the maritime authority revealed to Lusa that the ship’s “fire spots” were “smaller”. In addition to revealing that there are no longer any “visible” fires, the Navy added that today (Thursday) a “team of experts” will go to the site, transported by an Air Force helicopter, to “analyze the conditions for carrying out the towing”.
The Navy ship NRP Setúbal (regularly seen in the port of Funchal) will continue in the area as a “guarantee of navigation safety and surveillance of marine pollution, as well as permanently monitoring the stability of the ship”. “So far, no source of pollution has been detected at sea. It is visible the output of white smoke from the ship, which has decreased considerably”, adds the Navy.
In addition to the Navy patrol vessel, the tugboat Thor B is also on-site, which had been hired by the Government of the Azores to ensure the transport of goods between the islands of the Central and Western Group, which has been “cooling” the cargo ship’s hull, in order to make it easier for technicians to board.