MOL’s fire-ravaged car carrier sinks off the Azores

Mitsui OSK Lines car carrier Felicity Ace that caught fire in the Atlantic on February 16 while carrying nearly 4,000 cars from Germany to the US sunk yesterday morning despite previous efforts to tow it to safety.

The 6,400 ceu ship sank 220 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal’s Azores Islands around 09.00 hrs local time on Tuesday having suffered a list to starboard, MOL Ship Management Singapore said.

Salvage crafts will remain around the area to monitor the situation, the shipmanager added.

Felicity Ace lost stability and sank at about 25 nautical miles, equivalent to 46 km, outside the limit of the Economic Exclusive Zone from Portugal, in an area of which water depth is about 3,000 m.

“Some debris and a small stain of oil waste are recorded on the site, which is being dispersed by the water jets of the tugs and which is being monitored by the Department of Pollution of the National Maritime Authority and by the European Maritime Security Agency (EMSA),” the Portuguese Navy stated.

The cause of the fire on the Panama-flagged vessel is still unknown. UK risk consultancy Russell Group estimated the total dollar value of goods on the ship at $438m.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. Am informed that there were a large number of electric vehicles on-board and that affected the fire, and possibly how the fire was fought…

    1. VW stated stated many of the vehicles were electric, all else is pure conjecture.
      21st, Feb. “João Mendes Cabeças, the captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told Reuters over the weekend that lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles were “keeping the fire alive”, adding that specialist equipment was required to extinguish it. It was not clear whether the batteries sparked the fire.”

  2. With boxships getting bigger by the day, marine insurers have been bracing for shipping’s first ever $1bn loss claim. I wonder if they are surprised it looks to have come from a different segment of the industry?

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