LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A fireplace aboard a ship carrying automobiles within the mid-Atlantic is dying out, a Portuguese navy officer mentioned Tuesday, and the large vessel is predicted to be towed to the Bahamas.

The blaze on the Felicity Ace has burned for six days close to Portugal’s Azores Islands.

A Portuguese Air Drive helicopter evacuated the 22 crew members final week, leaving the 200-meter-long vessel adrift.

Volkswagen mentioned the ship was transporting autos it had manufactured however supplied no additional particulars.

Two oceangoing tugboats with firefighting gear have hosed down the ship’s hull to chill it, in accordance with the port of Horta harbormaster, Capt. João Mendes Cabeças, on the Azorean island of Faial.

See: America’s greatest ports dealt with a report 50.5 million transport containers final yr

Two extra tugboats have been anticipated to reach by the top of the week, he instructed the Related Press.

The reason for the hearth shouldn’t be recognized, Mendes Cabeças mentioned, although suspicion has fallen on lithium batteries in electrical autos the Felicity Ace was taking from Germany to the USA.

“We all know from what the captain instructed us that there have been numerous electrical autos on board, in addition to nonelectric autos,” he mentioned.

See: Burning EV batteries complicate firefighting efforts on adrift cargo ship

The fireplace broke out on a cargo deck the place the autos have been stowed, in accordance with Mendes Cabeças, however when the alarm went off there was already an excessive amount of smoke to make out the place the blaze had began.

Flames have been now not seen from outdoors Tuesday, and the ship is secure, he mentioned. A salvage crew hopes to get aboard the ship on Wednesday and hook up a tow line.

Volkswagen Group


has mentioned the ship was transporting autos that the German vehicle maker produced however has supplied no extra particulars.

Mendes Cabeças mentioned Portuguese authorities didn’t have entry to the ship’s manifest so he couldn’t say what number of autos have been on board nor what make they have been.

The Felicity Ace can carry greater than 17,000 metric tons of cargo. Usually, automotive transport ships match 1000’s of autos on a number of decks of their maintain.

Mendes Cabeças mentioned there was presently no risk of air pollution. Hoses are usually not being aimed contained in the vessel, to keep away from runoff from lithium batteries going into the ocean.

The ship is carrying 2,000 metric tons, or 2,200 tons, of gasoline and a couple of,000 metric tons of oil.

The climate within the space, 190 nautical miles — 350 kilometers, or 220 miles — south of the Azores, is honest, with a swell of lower than 2 meters.