Cargo Ship Full of Porsches and Other Luxury Vehicles Sinks After Fire and Crew Evacuation (UPDATE)

The entire 22-person crew was rescued from the vessel, which carried thousands of cars, earlier this week. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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UPDATED 3/2, 8:35 a.m. ET: The cargo ship carrying luxury vehicles to the U.S. has now been confirmed to have sank in the mid-Atlantic.

Per NPR, the Felicity Ace vessel sank Tuesday approximately 250 miles off Portugal’s Azores islands, with the depth of the region where the ship went under estimated to be nearly two miles. See more below via the Portuguese Navy.

Navio mercante "Felicity Ace" afunda fora da Zona Económica e Exclusiva Portuguesa

Hoje, durante o reboque, que se tinha iniciado no dia 24 de fevereiro, o navio "Felicity Ace" perdeu estabilidade tendo vindo a afundar-se.

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— Marinha (@MarinhaPT) March 1, 2022

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A cargo ship carrying thousands of cars from Volkswagen Group caught fire while en route to Rhode Island from Germany, resulting in the evacuation of the vessel’s crew.

Per a report from the Associated Press, the Felicity Ace ship was “adrift” on Wednesday after the 22-person crew was rescued via helicopter by the Portuguese Navy. Initial reports included word from a Volkswagen Group rep that the ship in question was being used to transport vehicles to the States. Volkswagen Group, notably, sells cars under multiple brands including Porsche, Bugatti, and Lamborghini.

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While early reports didn’t specify the exact (alleged) nature of the ship’s cargo, a subsequent update from Bloomberg on the blazing Atlantic Ocean-traversing vessel provided additional insight. Per their report, internal communications from Volkswagen showed that 3,965 vehicles were on the ship. Brands including Porsche and Lamborghini were reportedly among those in tow when the ship caught fire.

A Porsche rep, meanwhile, said current estimates were that roughly 1,100 of its cars were on the Felicity Ace. The ship is reportedly capable of carrying as much as 18,700 tons in cargo.

When reached for comment by Complex on Friday, a spokesperson for the Volkswagen Group offered the following:

“We are aware of an incident involving a third-party cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. The vessel was on its way to North America. All crew members have been rescued and are safe. We are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident.”

In a statement shared Friday, Felicity Ace operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced that “an initial salvage team” was on the way to the vessel. A rep for the company also provided an update on the status of the 22 members of the ship’s crew, confirming that all had since been taken to a hotel and were in “good health.”

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