A cargo ship packed with European luxury cars is adrift and burning in the Atlantic Ocean after a fire somehow broke out in the cargo hold, forcing the crew to evacuate and leaving more than 1,000 Porsches and hundreds of other cars abandoned on the vessel. The Felicity Ace was en route to Davisville, Rhode Island from Emden, Germany when it caught fire southwest of the Portuguese Azores Islands.
Cargo ship adrift and burning
Portugal’s navy was able to use a helicopter to rescue all of the crew members and evacuate them to a transport ship before anyone was harmed.
The crew has now been safely transferred to a hotel on shore, but rescuing the ship itself is a much greater challenge.
The Felicity Ace was too large to be immediately towed into any port in the nearby Azores and putting out such a massive fire at sea would not be easy.
Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, which owns the Felicity Ace, has reportedly arranged for the cargo ship to be towed as it continues to burn.
The Portuguese navy has continued to observe the ship closely, inspecting it to see if there is any risk of it sinking, though there seems to be no immediate concern about this danger.
The cars, however, are unlikely to survive regardless of what happens to the ship. It’s impossible to know their current state, but it’s likely that none of the cargo will be salvageable.
Porsche waiting for details
Porsche has confirmed that it is aware of the details of which of its vehicles were aboard the ship and that the company is working to keep affected customers and dealers informed.
Given that the fate of the ship and its cargo remains uncertain, the company says that it is too early to say what its next steps will be.
Volkswagon also acknowledged the incident, saying that it would work with the shipping company to convey more details to buyers when possible.
In 2019 another cargo ship carrying expensive Porsches sank off the coast of France, forcing the company to reproduce the lost vehicles.
Damage from this disaster could easily exceed $100 million. The Felicity Ace can carry 17,000 tons of cargo and there were likely several thousand cars on board.
Fortunately, the ship has remained afloat and Portuguese authorities say that there has been no indication that significant pollution and environmental damage has resulted from the fire.A cargo ship packed with European luxury cars is adrift and burning in the Atlantic Ocean after a fire somehow broke out in the cargo