Update 2: A report from Automotive News this morning indicates that the Felicity Ace has sunk, despite efforts to tow the damaged vessel to safety. The report states that the ship sank some 220 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal's Azores Islands at roughly 9 AM local time. Rough weather and a badly damaged craft combined to doom the cargo ship, Automotive News indicates.
The Felicity Ace Incident Information Center confirms the ship sank. So far there has been no oil pollution reported at the site of the sinking.
It has been projected that some $401 million worth of cars from VW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini have been destroyed.
Update: A special website has been created for official information regarding the Felicity Ace. Here is the most recent statement regarding the fire:
Singapore, February 18, 2022
Following the fire on board the car carrier“Felicity Ace” on February 16, MOL Ship Management (Singapore) report that all crew members are now safe in a hotel in the Azores and all are in good health.
The Portuguese Navy, through the Ponta Delgada Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), has a warship standing by and monitoring the drift of Felicity Ace.
Managers have appointed a salvage company and an initial salvage team has arrived in the Azores and is on the way to the vessel estimated to arrive February 18(local time). Further salvage assets are being readied to attend the vessel.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines wishes to thank the Portuguese Navy, the local authorities in the Azores and those vessels that supported the rescue operation of the crew members in the best traditions of the Merchant marine.
The cargo ship Felicity Ace, which was carrying vehicles from Emden, Germany, to Davisville, Rhode Island USA, has reportedly caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean. According to the Associated Press, the Felicity Ace sounded an alarm after a fire broke out in the hold, and its crew of 22 abandoned ship and were safely rescued. However, the fire may have destroyed the ship's cargo – largely Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles.
Zerin Dube, who uses the handle SpeedSportLife, posted a screenshot of Porsche’s customer order tracker, which acknowledges that the Felicity Ace was carrying “certain Porsche vehicles” and advises clients to expect contact from their local dealers once the automaker has enough information to understand the full scope of the issue. The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah says on Twitter that his dealer called him today to inform him that his car was on the cargo ship.
For its part, Porsche released the following statement:
Our immediate thoughts are of the 22 crew of the merchant ship "Felicity Ace", all of whom we understand are safe and well as a result of their rescue by the Portuguese Navy following reports of a fire on board.
We believe a number of our cars are among the cargo on board the ship. No further details of the specific cars affected are available at this time – we are in close contact with the shipping company and will share more information in due course.
Anyone concerned by the implications of this incident on a car they’ve ordered should maintain contact with the dealer with which their order was placed. As more information becomes available, our dealers will contact every customer affected to discuss next steps.
Now abandoned near the Azores Islands, the Felicity Ace is drifting eastward. According to the website FleetMon, which tracks registered nautical vessels, the onboard automatic identification system is still operational, which should aid salvage and rescue agencies with locating the cargo ship.
Sources: Associated Press, FleetMon, Zerin Dube on Twitter