The burning cargo ship was laden with 3965 German luxury cars according to initial media reports
At the time of writing, reports are coming in of a ship carrying Porsches, Audis and Bentleys from Germany to the USA has caught fire near the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
The 22 crew members on board the Felicity Ace abandoned the carrier when the fire broke out, with no one hurt, Portugal’s Navy said in a statement.
Though still floating in the Atlantic Ocean, it is not clear whether the cars are damaged.
An internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that the ship was carrying 3965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.
German super luxury cars
Around 1100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys were on board, spokespeople for the car brands said. Audi, another Volkswagen brand, confirmed some of its vehicles were also on board but did not state how many. Volkswagen did not confirm the total number of cars on board and said it was awaiting further information.
Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, the operator of Felicity Ace, said it has commissioned a salvage company to assess the situation. An initial team arrived in the Azores and was expected to reach the ship on 25 February. ‘Further salvage assets are being readied to attend the vessel,’ the company said in a statement. ‘MOL will make every effort to contain the damage and resolve the situation as the main priorities’, the statement continued.
The Panama-flagged ship was travelling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, Rhode Island in the US, according to the Maritime Traffic website.