A cargo ship hauling a load of lovely cars from the continent caught fire Wednesday and is currently burning down in the middle of the Atlantic, close to the Azores Islands.
All 22 souls on the Felicity Ace managed to make it to lifeboats with no injuries reported before the 650-foot cargo vessel began to really flame out. The Portuguese navy confirmed with the Drive it assisted with the rescue of the crew. The Ace was supposed to arrive in Rhode Island on February 23 after departing Emden, Germany on February 10, but it seems its final resting place will be the bottom of the Atlantic in Portuguese waters:
After transmitting the distress signal on Wednesday morning, the Panama-flagged ship was quickly reached by the Portugese Navy patrol boat as well as four merchant ships in the area. According to Naftika Chronika, the crew of the Felicity Ace left the ship on a lifeboat and were picked up by Resilient Warrior, a tanker operated by Greek company Polembros Shipping Limited. Reportedly, 11 of the crew have so far have been picked up from the Resilient Warrior by a Portugese Navy helicopter. Efforts to bring the situation under control are ongoing according to reports from the scene.
Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles, among others, were on board the carrier at the time of the incident, headed for North America. Members on 718Forum.com have reported Porsche’s Track Your Dream service delivering a message that the company is “aware of an incident on the Felicity Ace”, which was “carrying certain Porsche vehicles.” The message indicates that dealerships will provide customers with further information where available.
Similarly, members of the VWIDTalk and Rennlist Porsche forums have speculated that their vehicles may have been affected by the fire on the Felicity Ace. Based on previous import manifests filed in the USA, the ship has regularly transported cars for Volkswagen, along with its other brands, including Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche.
Adrift, possibly on fire? Who hasn’t been there!
Both Farah and Porsche told the Drive that they are just happy the entire crew of the Felicity Ace made it to safety. Porsche customers like Farah don’t have to be worried about getting their cars, however. In the past, Porsche has even brought special editions back into production just to replace cars lost in cargo ship fires, like in 2019 when Porsche restarted production on the 911 GT2 RS to replace cars lost on the Grande America.
There is no word on what caused the Ace to burst into flames, but an investigation into the fire is ongoing.