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1,100 Porsche Vehicles Left Abandoned on Burning Cargo Ship

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1,100 Porsche Vehicles Left Abandoned on Burning Cargo Ship

A vehicle transport ship believed to be carrying thousands of vehicles including 1,100 Porsche vehicles was drifting afire in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Azores on Thursday. Twenty-two of its crew members were rescued from the vessel.

Earlier Wednesday morning, a fire broke out in the cargo hold of the ship, Felicity Ace, which had departed Emden, Germany, on February 10 and was scheduled to arrive in Davisville, Rhode Island, on Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s evacuation, Portuguese forces moved into Terceira Island in the Azores, a Portuguese territory. The ship was about 200 miles away.

There were no injuries to rescuers or crew members during the “highly skilled and physically demanding” operation, in which a helicopter whisked the crew to the Portuguese island of Faial nearby.

It is unclear how much of the ship’s inventory was destroyed in the fire or how authorities will tend to the stricken vessel. Efforts to contact the shipping company were unsuccessful.

Automotive website The Drive reported that nearly 4,000 vehicles were on board, including 189 Bentleys. Messages sent to the Volkswagen Group were not returned.

Porsche happy crew safe

The fire happened as showrooms across the country tried to meet consumer demand amid supply-chain problems partly induced by the pandemic. Government stimulus payments, low-interest rates and a rise in savings rates have boosted demand, while automakers have faced a shortage of computer chips.

Since August, Matt Farah, a car enthusiast and editor of The Smoking Tire has been waiting for the 2022 frozen-berry metallic Boxster Spyder that retails for about US$123,000. It’s the greatest sports car of all time, hands down, he wrote.

Wednesday evening, he received disappointing news: “I just got a call from my dealer. My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”

In a statement released Thursday, Farah said that an employee of Porsche confirmed that his car was in the boat.

Porsche Cars North America said 1,100 of its cars were on the ship, but that the fate of the vehicles was unknown. She said Porsche customers should be directed to their local dealership.

“Our immediate thought is the relief that all 22 crew members of the Felicity Ace are safe and well,” the statement said.

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