By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 18 February 2022 • 7:30
Source: portuguese Navy
A cargo ship full of Porsche and VW cars that caught fire has been abandoned in the middle of the Atlantic and is now adrift, with the 22 member crew having been picked up by the Portuguese navy.
The Felicity Ace, caught fire in the North Atlantic on Wednesday, as it carried cargo including Porsches and Volkswagens from Emden, Germany to Davisville, Rhode Island. After a fire broke out in the cargo hold, it spread and forced all 22 crew members to abandon ship.
The 656 foot-long Felicity Ace roll-on/roll-off car-carrying ship sailing 90 nautical miles southwest of Portugal’s Azores at the time the fire broke out in the hold forcing the crew to abandon ship. So far there has been no noticeable source of pollution with the the ship’s owners having arranged for a tow as it continues to burn.
The Felicity Alice is registered to Panama but is operated by Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL). MOL who have yet to respond to requests from the media.
Porsche confirmed to CNN Business that a number of its cars were among the cargo and that customers with cars on board the burning ship are being contacted by their dealers.
Angus Fitton, Vice President of PR at Porsche Cars North America said: “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.
“We are in contact with the shipping company and the details of the cars on board are now known.”
Journalist and host Matt Farah is one of those with a Porsche on board and has confirmed that the dealer has already been in touch.
He said: “The dealer confirmed that my car, along with at least a dozen other vehicles they were expecting, is on that boat.
“They had no further information for me beyond confirming my car was on the boat, and said that as soon as Porsche Cars North America has a plan of any kind with how to proceed, that they would share the plans with me.”
Volkswagen also has customers awaiting vehicles on the burning cargo ship according to Dirk Ameer, a Volkswagen spokesperson.
He said: “We are aware of an incident involving a third-party cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. The vessel was on its way to North America.
“At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident.”
The Felicity Ace can carry over 17,000 metric tons of cargo, effectively thousands of cars although the exact number is known. The Portuguese Navy said that as of Thursday, the fire is ongoing, and an ocean patrol vessel remains on site to monitor the abandoned ship.
Abandoned cargo ship full of luxury cars on fire and adrift.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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