In mid-February, a large ship carrying thousands of luxury vehicles caught fire in the middle of the ocean. Efforts were made to tow it to a safe location, but it sank on Tuesday.
Felicity Ace, owned and operated by Japanese company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), was on passage from Germany to the US when it experienced a fire at around 11:30 CET (5:30 am EST) on February 16.
MOL set up the Felicity Ace Information Centre to provide updates on the Panama-flagged ship’s whereabouts and status. MOL revealed in a statement that it was some 90 nautical miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic when the fire started,
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The car carrier was evacuated using a helicopter, and all 22 crew members on board were taken to a hotel in the Azores, Portugal, in good health. Efforts to anchor the ship in a safe area began on February 25, and no signs of oil leakage were observed at the time.
Two large towing tugs from Gibraltar along with crafts with firefighting equipment were sent to its rescue. They sprayed the ship with water cannons in hopes of extinguishing the fire. But on the morning of March 1, the carrier sank with all the Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Volkswagens, and Porsches inside it, leaving a small oil slick on the surface of the water.
The vessel alone weighed over 60,000 tonnes and was built in 2005.
Reuters spoke to insurance experts, who estimated that the incident could result in losses of $155 million.
“MOL regrets for the inconvenience and concern caused,” the operator wrote. “MOL will make every effort to contain the damage and resolve the situation as the main priorities.”