Reuters – A cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars, including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, goes up in flames while adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of Azores, a region in Portugal.
The Felicity Ace, a 200-metre-long roll-on/roll-off car-carrying ship, caught fire on Wednesday (Feb 16) while loaded with around 4,000 vehicles from Porsche, Volkswagen, Bentley and Audi, to name a few.
The captain of the nearest port told Reuters on Friday (Feb 18) that the ship would be towed to another Bahamas or another European country.
It was reported that the lithium-ion batteries in the electric cars on board caught fire, requiring specialist equipment to extinguish.
A statement released by the Portuguese Navy noted that the fire spread to the cargo hold, forcing all 22 crew members to abandon the ship.
It is not clear if the batteries were the cause of the fire, said the Portuguese Navy.
The Felicity Ace is registered in Panama and operated by Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK. Lines (MOL).
MOL released the following statement on Feb 18: “MOL regrets for the inconvenience and concern caused. MOL will make every effort to contain the damage and resolve the situation as the main priorities.”
“All crew members have been taken ashore to the nearest island. At this time of report, there has been no oil leakage observed from the vessel,” said MOL.
“While it remains too early to confirm what occurred and next steps, we are — along with our colleagues at Porsche AG — supporting our customers and our dealers as best we can to find solutions,” said Angus Fitton, Vice President of PR at Porsche Cars North America in a CNN Business report.
Porsche said it was in contact with the shipping company, and the details of the cars on board have been confirmed.
YouTuber Matt Farah, known for his automotive review channel “The Smoking Tire,” tweeted that he was contacted by his car dealer regarding his 2022 Porsche Boxster Spyder that was included in the fire.
“I just got the call from my dealer. My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the ocean,” tweeted Farah on Feb 17.
Another netizen replied to his tweet, noting that his Volkswagen dealer also called him to inform him that his GTI was on the same ship. “No joke. This has been a crazy two years. I guess I’ll just get a BMW. Those are made in Mexico, lol,” he added./TISG