It’s been nearly a week since a cargo ship carrying thousands of VW group vehicles caught fire at sea. Today, the fates of the cars still on board are unknown.
Last Wednesday, a fire swept through Felicity Ace, leaving it drifting off Portugal’s Azores islands. Now, Reuters is reporting that the fire has begun to lose its intensity, meaning there may be little left to burn.
There are just about 4,000 Porsche, Audi, Bentley VW and Lamborghini cars on board, and it’s safe to say that most of them have gone quite melty.
João Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told news agencies there was probably very little combustible material left to burn.
There is hope that as the fire burns down, firefighters and technicians may be able to board the vessel in order to tow it to either Europe or the Bahamas.
Cabeças also told Reuters lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles were what was “keeping the fire alive,” and the fire was spreading closer to the ship’s massive fuel tanks.
“Our concern has been with pollution since the ship has large amounts of fuel on board and car batteries but so far there are no hotbeds of pollution,” he said.
We’ve reported that there are 189 Bentleys on board, about 1,100 Porsches and the rest are an unspecified number of Audis, VWs and Lamborghinis.
It should be noted that one of the 1,100 Porsche is a new 718 Boxter Spyer that was on its way to automotive journalist Matt Farah.
Also, there are currently three towboats on their way from Gibraltar and the Netherlands that are supposed to reach the doomed ship Wednesday.
It’s estimated there will be losses of well over a quarter billion dollars when all is said and done, and that doesn’t account for salvage costs or dealership losses. It also doesn’t take into account environmental costs, the ship itself, crew ages and the overall cost of the rescue. Basically, this is costing everyone a big ol’ heap of money.