Like somebody is having one very bad day! Apparently the crew has no idea where the water is coming in from, so my bet is that if there's a follow up story, it's going to be to report that the vessel was lost.
The hull itself doesn't appear to be in bad shape but then some things aren't always that obvious. The Oceanos was sunk by something as dirt simple as a sea chest rupturing. Since the wastewater plumbing was not properly isolated, the waters which flooded in percolated throughout the ship by way of the sinks and the toilets.
Cougar Ace was launched in 1993. She's 55,328 GRT, which makes her one of the larger car transports. She has been known to carry more than 5,000 cars, usually between Japan and Canada or the eastern USA.
She sure is an amazing sight. At last report, she was still afloat.
Somebody stands to make a bundle if they can salvage the ship. (Or lose their shirts in the attempt.) If nothing else, at least there would be something for the investigators to go over to find out what the cause of this was in the first place. Whether or not the ship herself would be written off as a constructive total loss is another matter.
I'd be tentative about salvaging her. If something goes and she starts flooding through her side we could have a 50,000 Ton steel boulder on our hands awful quickly. And she still seems unnaturally high in the water...I'll bet it was a major ballast malfunction.
Buoyancy floats could be attached to starboard, possibly stabilizing the ship, but working on such a platform in those seas would take more nerve than I have. Barges might be better supporting vessels.
I guess I'm a bit surprised that the ship is still afloat. It should be interesting to see how the salvage people pull this off. Her port side is inaccessible so that narrows down their options as to where to go.
On the other hand, Mazda parts should be cheaper. If the ship has flooded at all, those cars will find there way to the S.E. Asian market.
I hope they save her. It will be an interesting adventure in salvage and cost being weighed against loss.