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Home Wedding Cars Massive cargo ship carrying cars sinks in mid-Atlantic

Massive cargo ship carrying cars sinks in mid-Atlantic

The fire-ravaged US-bound cargo ship that was transporting thousands of supercars including Porsches has sunk in the middle of the Atlantic.

The Felicity Ace sank about 250 miles off Portugal’s Azores Islands as it was being towed, just 13 days after a fire broke out on board, according to the Portuguese navy.

The 650ft vessel listed to starboard before going under, the ship’s manager said.

The Portuguese navy confirmed the sinking, saying it occurred outside Portuguese waters. A Portuguese Air Force helicopter evacuated the 22 crew members when the fire first broke out, setting the ship adrift.

Ocean-going tugboats with firefighting equipment had been hosing down the ship’s hull to cool it.

The Felicity Ace sank about 250 miles off Portugal’s Azores Islands as it was being towed, just 13 days after a fire broke out on board, according to the Portuguese navy

The Felicity Ace ship carrying luxury cars, is seen as it is adrift in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after it caught fire, near Portugal on February 18

The Felicity Ace ship carrying luxury cars, is seen as it is adrift in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after it caught fire, near Portugal on February 18

The ship, Felicity Ace, which was traveling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, Portugal

The ship, Felicity Ace, which was traveling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, Portugal

Felicity Ace adrift after a fire broke out on board on February 16 off the Portuguese coast.  - A freighter carrying thousands of luxury vehicles which caught fire almost two weeks ago off the Azores archipelago, got shipwrecked on March 1

Felicity Ace adrift after a fire broke out on board on February 16 off the Portuguese coast. – A freighter carrying thousands of luxury vehicles which caught fire almost two weeks ago off the Azores archipelago, got shipwrecked on March 1

It wasn’t clear how many cars were onboard the ship, but vessels of the Felicity Ace’s size can carry at least 4,000 vehicles.

European carmakers declined to discuss how many vehicles and what models were on board, but Porsche customers in the United States were being contacted by their dealers, the company said.

‘We are already working to replace every car affected by this incident and the first new cars will be built soon,’ Angus Fitton, vice president of PR at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., told The Associated Press in an email.

The ship was transporting electric and non-electric vehicles, according to Portuguese authorities. Suspicion on what started the fire on February 16 has fallen on lithium batteries used in electric vehicles, although authorities say they have no firm evidence about the cause.

Authorities feared the ship, which was carrying 2,200 tons of fuel and 2,200 tons of oil, could pollute the ocean. It can carry more than 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons) of cargo.

The Portuguese navy said in a statement that only a few pieces of wreckage and a small patch of oil was visible where the ship went down. The tugboats were breaking up the patch with hoses, it said.

The ship, Felicity Ace, which was traveling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, Portugal

The ship, Felicity Ace, which was traveling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, Portugal

The Portuguese navy said in a statement that only a few pieces of wreckage and a small patch of oil was visible where the ship went down

The Portuguese navy said in a statement that only a few pieces of wreckage and a small patch of oil was visible where the ship went down

It wasn't clear how many cars were onboard the ship, but vessels of the Felicity Ace's size can carry at least 4,000 vehicles

It wasn’t clear how many cars were onboard the ship, but vessels of the Felicity Ace’s size can carry at least 4,000 vehicles

The 650-feet-long ship was sailing from Emden in Germany and had left on February 10 and was heading to the port of Davisville in the US state of Rhode Island, according to online vessel trackers

The 650-feet-long ship was sailing from Emden in Germany and had left on February 10 and was heading to the port of Davisville in the US state of Rhode Island, according to online vessel trackers

A Portuguese Air Force plane and a Portuguese navy vessel are to remain at the scene on the lookout for signs of pollution.

The 650-feet-long ship was sailing from Emden in Germany and had left on February 10 and was heading to the port of Davisville in the US state of Rhode Island, according to online vessel trackers.

The ship, which can carry up to 4,000 vehicles, was originally expected to arrive at Davisville on February 23.

The ship regularly transports cars for Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Audi and Porsche.

Eager Porsche buyers logging into the Track Your Dream service, which details the progress of the car’s delivery, stated how the company was ‘aware of an incident on the Felicity Ace carrying certain Porsche vehicles.’

Matt Farah, the man behind The Smoking Tire YouTube channel, posted Wednesday regarding his own Porsche that was apparently onboard the ship.

Eager Porsche buyers logging into the Track Your Dream service, which details the progress of the car's delivery, stated how the company was 'aware of an incident on the Felicity Ace carrying certain Porsche vehicles

Eager Porsche buyers logging into the Track Your Dream service, which details the progress of the car’s delivery, stated how the company was ‘aware of an incident on the Felicity Ace carrying certain Porsche vehicles

The ship was transporting electric and non-electric vehicles, according to Portuguese authorities.  Suspicion on what started the fire on Feb. 16 has fallen on lithium batteries used in electric vehicles, though authorities say they have no firm evidence about the cause

The ship was transporting electric and non-electric vehicles, according to Portuguese authorities. Suspicion on what started the fire on Feb. 16 has fallen on lithium batteries used in electric vehicles, though authorities say they have no firm evidence about the cause

Authorities feared the ship, which was carrying 2,200 tons of fuel and 2,200 tons of oil, could pollute the ocean.  It can carry more than 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons) of cargo

Authorities feared the ship, which was carrying 2,200 tons of fuel and 2,200 tons of oil, could pollute the ocean. It can carry more than 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons) of cargo

The Portuguese navy said in a statement that only a few pieces of wreckage and a small patch of oil was visible where the ship went down.  The tugboats were breaking up the patch with hoses, it said

The Portuguese navy said in a statement that only a few pieces of wreckage and a small patch of oil was visible where the ship went down. The tugboats were breaking up the patch with hoses, it said

‘I ordered a Boxster Spyder in August, and I was very excited to get it at the end of this month, and now it seems like it might become an artificial reef,’ said Matt Farah who runs the Smoking Tire YouTube channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers.

‘I’m only saying this because I know no one was hurt, which is obviously more important.’

On Wednesday, Porsche released a statement about the stricken ship.

‘Our immediate thoughts are of the 22 crew of the merchant ship Felicity Ace, all of whom we understand are safe and well as a result of their rescue by the Portuguese Navy following reports of a fire on board.

‘We believe a number of our cars are among the cargo on board the ship. No further details of the specific cars affected are available at this time – we are in close contact with the shipping company and will share more information in due course.’

Volkswagen also released a statement: ‘We are aware of an incident today involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident.’

A Portuguese Navy spokesperson said there were no more details about the ongoing operation.

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