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Rescue crews board the burnt-out Felicity Ace off the Azores, towing begins



LISBON – More than a week after a ship packed with about 4,000 vehicles, including Porsches, Audis, Lamborghini and You, catch fire in the mid-Atlantic, a rescue team boarded the ship on Friday and began drag it reached a safe position off the Portuguese Azores Islands.

In a statement, the director of the train Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) said the Felicity Ace was operating stably and the smoke that had been rising for days from the ship, about 170 kilometers southwest of the Azores, had stopped.

The 22 crew members of the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace, which was carrying about 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys from Germany to the United States, were evacuated last Wednesday, the day the fire broke out.

Some electric vehicles and their lithium-ion the battery made fire very difficult to extinguishport officials said.

Earlier attempts to board the vessel to assess its condition and begin preparations for towing had failed due to fire and rough seas.

On Friday, the crew was able to board by helicopter, and the Bear rescue boat began towing the ship to a “safe area off the Azores,” the ship’s manager said. It is not clear exactly where the ship was towed.

It was escorted by two tugs and another rescue vehicle equipped with firefighting equipment, MOL said.

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