A ship carrying cars from Germany to the United States has caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, forcing the crew members to abandon the vessel and leave it burning and adrift.
Felicity Ace, a 650-foot-long ship carrying thousands of vehicles, including 1,100 Porsches, was on fire and drifted off the coast of the Azores on Thursday.
According to the reports, a fire broke out on Wednesday morning in Felicity Ace. The ship had departed from Emden, Germany, on February 10 and was scheduled to arrive in Davisville, Rhode Islands, on Wednesday.
The Panama-flagged ship put out a distress signal on Wednesday morning. The signal reached the Portuguese Navy patrol boat as well as four merchant ships in the area. The ship was about 200 miles from Terceira Island in the Azores, the Portuguese island territory when Portuguese forces spotted the ship. They immediately rushed to the spot to rescue the crew.
The Portuguese Navy rescued the crew members in a “highly skilled and physically demanding” operation, including a helicopter that flew the crew members to the nearby Portuguese island of Faial. None of the crew members was hurt.
However, the Porsches, Volkswagens, and other luxury brand-new cars that were set to be delivered to North America have been left on board.
As per the automotive website – The Drive, the Volkswagen Group has estimated nearly 4,000 vehicles were on board, including 189 Bentleys. The Felicity Ace is regularly used as a charter vessel for VW Group. Last month, it had carried at least 21 Lamborghinis from Europe to America.
The Felicity Ace, built-in 2005, measures 656 feet long and 104 feet wide, with a carrying capacity of 17,738 tons.