A cargo ship carrying hundreds of Porsches, Bentleys, Audis, and other Volkswagen Group vehicles caught fire in the mid-Atlantic and had to be abandoned off the Azores Islands, with the Portuguese Navy saving the ship’s 22 crew members.
The 200-meter-long (650-foot-long) Felicity Ace remained floating near Portugal’s Azores Islands after the crew was brought off on Wednesday, according to Portuguese naval spokesperson Cmdr. Jose Sousa Luis.
The Felicity Ace has a cargo capacity of over 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons). Typically, auto transport ships can transport thousands of vehicles on many decks, with the Felicity Ace having a capacity of almost 4,000 vehicles.
Volkswagen Group stated that the Felicity Ace carried automobiles manufactured by the German manufacturer to the United States. However, the company declined to comment on the incident’s potential ramifications for US consumers or the VW Group.
According to automotive and navigation websites, the ship was transporting 1,100 Porsche and 200 Bentley premium autos.
According to online vessel trackers, a Portuguese naval ship traveled to the vehicle transporter, going from Emden in Germany to the port of Davisville in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. The fire was still blazing, which displayed an image of massive clouds of white smoke spewing out.
According to Sousa Luis, the navy ship’s job was to determine whether the cargo ship was in danger of sinking or causing pollution. According to Sousa Luis, the ship’s owner is looking for an ocean-going tug, but because of its size, the Felicity Ace is unlikely to be towed to a port in Portugal’s Azores Islands.
On Wednesday, the crew was flown by helicopter to Faial Island in the archipelago, some 170 kilometers (100 miles) away, residing in a hotel. They were all unharmed.
The Russian and Filipino crew were transferred to the oil tanker Resilient Warrior, which was diverted to assist with the rescue attempt before being airlifted to Faial by military helicopter.
We hope the cargo doesn’t result in a double dose of pollution and price, but it’s hard to see anything going right in 2022 at this time.