Blaze On the 6,400 ceu Vessel Leads To Massive Insurance Claim

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  • The insurance claim for a Mitsui OSK Lines car carrier, on fire and unmanned in the Atlantic, could total over $500m after it emerged the vessel is carrying Bentley and Lamborghini supercars.
  • Shipping satellite analysis company Skytek, which specializes in monitoring cargo movements from space, said that the 6,400-ceu Felicity Ace (built 2005) is a carrying a combination of Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and Audi cars.

News articles published in the Splash 247 and Trade Winds News say that supercars push loss estimates for MOL car carrier blaze to over $500m.

The blaze is finally easing

The blaze on the 6,400 ceu Felicity Ace off the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands is finally easing.

The Panama-flagged ship caught fire last Wednesday while on its way from Emden, Germany to Rhode Island, US.

Two large tugs with firefighting equipment arrived on site yesterday and are spraying water onto the ship together with the patrol boat with the initial salvage team already onsite to cool down the heat from the vessel.

An additional salvage craft with firefighting equipment is set to arrive from Rotterdam on Saturday.

“The fire has subsided in recent hours,” João Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told Lusa news agency last night, saying there was probably little combustible material left to burn.

What is the estimated bill by Skytek?

It said there are a confirmed 189 Bentleys among the 3,665 cars onboard. It estimates the starting price for each car onboard to be around $99,650.

That could push the value of the cargo to a minimum of $365m, but Skytek is estimating the bill could exceed $500m.

Insurance experts say a fire of this nature is likely to result in the vessel being declared a constructive total loss.

The entire cargo will almost certainly be written off as a total loss, they added.

The final insurance bill will be determined by whether the cargo cover is placed at the show room price, or at cost.

The vessel’s owner, Mitsui OSK Lines, said the vessel is currently in a “stable condition” with at least one tug and salvage team in attendance.

UK risk consultancy Russell Group

UK risk consultancy Russell Group said the ship has 3,965 cars onboard including brands such as Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini.

The total dollar value of goods on the ship is estimated to be $438m, according to Russell.

Cargo claims specialist WK Webster suggested that the fire has spread throughout the entire length of the vessel and it appears that everything above the waterline has been burnt, although vehicles stowed below the waterline will likely also be affected by burning debris from upper decks and fire-fighting water.

The vessel, which switched to the Britannia P&I Club for its insurance at the start of the year, is reported to be stable, in a position approximately 90 nautical miles south of Horta in the Azores, but has developed a slight list.

A total of three tugs are scheduled to be in attendance at the vessel by 21 February.

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Source: Splash 247Trade Winds News

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