Car carrier abandoned after catching fire off Azores

Photo: Portuguese Navy

A Japanese-owned pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) was abandoned by its crew in the mid-Atlantic Ocean off Portugal’s Azores region after a fire ignited on board on Wednesday, February 16.

The Panamanian-flagged Felicity Ace had earlier departed Emden, Germany, with a final destination of Davisville, Rhode Island, and was underway some 90 nautical miles off Faial island in the Azores when a blaze ignited in its cargo hold on the morning (local time) of Wednesday.

Portuguese Navy ships, Portuguese Air Force helicopters, and some Good Samaritan vessels then sailed to the area in response to the incident.

A commercial tanker was able to safely rescue all 22 crew of the stricken PCTC. The survivors were later evacuated by helicopter to Horta in the Azores.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), owner of Felicity Ace, has already begun making arrangements to have the vessel towed to port for damage assessments.

No injuries or pollution has been reported. However, local media said the fire in the vessel’s cargo hold was still raging as of Thursday, February 17.

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