The ship carrying the 656-foot-long Felicity Ace has caught fire in the North Atlantic, as it was carrying cargo, including Porsche and Volkswagen, from Emden, Germany, to Davisville, Rhode Island. At the time of the fire, the ship was sailing 90 nautical miles southwest of Portugal’s Azores islands, according to a statement released by the Portuguese Navy on Wednesday.
After the fire broke out in the cargo hold, it spread and forced all 22 crew members to abandon the ship. According to another Portuguese Navy statement, the crew was safely transferred to a local hotel, coordinated by the Ponta Delgada Maritime Search and Rescue Center. The statement stated that there was no noticeable source of pollution from the fire.
The ship’s owners arranged to tow it while it continued to burn. Registered in Panama, Felicity Alice is operated by Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment.
Porsche confirmed to CNN Business that a number of its cars were among the merchandise and that customers aboard the burning ship are being contacted by their dealers.
“While it is still too early to confirm what has happened and the next steps, we – along with our colleagues at Porsche AG – are supporting our customers and dealers as much as we can to find solutions,” said Angus Fitton, Vice President of Public Relations. In North American Porsche cars. “We are in contact with the shipping company and the details of the cars on board are now known.”
Prospective Porsche owners with cars on board like journalist and host Matt Farah, who said he has a 2022 Porsche Boxster Spyder waiting for delivery, are already starting to get word from dealerships about the condition of their cars.
“The dealer confirmed that my car, along with at least 12 other vehicles they were expecting, was on that boat,” Farah said. “They had no further information for me other than confirming my vehicle was on the boat, and they said that once Porsche Cars North America had a plan of any kind on how to proceed, they would share the plans with me.”
Volkswagen too He has clients waiting for vehicles on the burning cargo ship. “We are aware of an incident involving a third-party cargo vessel that was transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. The vessel was en route to North America,” said Dirk Amir, a Volkswagen spokesman. “Currently, we are not aware of any injuries. We are in contact with the shipping company to obtain more information about the incident,” he added.
The Felicity Ace can carry more than 17,000 metric tons of cargo, according to the Associated Press, with potentially thousands of vehicles on board. The Portuguese Navy said that as of Thursday, the fire was still burning, and an ocean patrol ship was still at the site to monitor the abandoned ship.