Salvage teams assessing damage aboard burnt Felicity Ace car carrier

FOX Business Headlines 2/25

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Salvage teams have started assessing the damage aboard the burnt Felicity Ace ship carrying thousands of luxury vehicles owned by Volkswagen and its brands.

FELICITY ACE FIRE ‘DEVASTATING’ TO AUTO INDUSTRY, ERNIE BOCH JR. SAYS

The vessel, which was scheduled to arrive in the Port of Davisville, Rhode Island, on Feb. 23, started burning in the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 16 near the Azores Islands. The Portuguese Navy was able to rescue all 22 crew members from the ship without any injuries. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

In this undated photo provided by the Portuguese Navy, smoke billows from the burning Felicity Ace car transport ship as seen from the Portuguese Navy NPR Setubal ship southeast of the mid-Atlantic Portuguese Azores Islands. (Portuguese Navy via AP) (Portuguese Navy via AP / AP Newsroom)

"There is no oil leakage from the vessel, and the stability of the vessel remains stable. The smoke leaving the vessel has currently stopped and is not visible," Felicity Ace's operator MOL Ship Management said in an update Friday. "The salvage team on site were able to board Felicity Ace by a helicopter and the vessel has started being towed by the large salvage craft ‘Bear’ to a safe area off Azores." 

The Felicity Ace is being escorted by two tugs, the "ALP Guard" and "Dian Kingdom," as well as a large salvage craft with additional firefighting capability called the "V.B. Hispanic."

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​The Felicity Ace is carrying nearly 4,000 luxury vehicles owned by Volkswagen and its brands, including 1,100 Porsches, 189 Bentleys and an unspecific amount of Audis and Lamborghinis. 

"We fear that the fire on the ship has damaged a large number of the nearly 4,000 Group-brand vehicles to such an extent that they can no longer be delivered to customers. More detailed information is not yet available," a Volkswagen spokesperson told FOX Business. "Brands and dealers have already begun informing their customers and finding individual solutions."

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VWAGYVOLKSWAGEN AG27.2+1.31+5.08%

Volkswagen noted that damage to the vehicles are covered by insurance.  Risk solutions company Russell has estimated the Felicity Ace fire could generate at least $155 million in expected losses for the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini vehicles on board.     

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