Ship carrying Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles catches fire

9 months, 2 weeks ago - 21 February 2022, autocar
Felicity Ace, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, @Portuguese Navy
Felicity Ace, burns more than 100 km from the Azores islands, @Portuguese Navy
Both firms have issued statements after 650ft-long Felicity Ace cargo ship caught fire off the coast of Portugal

A large cargo ship carrying Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles has caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean, with 22 crew members rescued by the Portuguese Navy.

The 650ft-long Felicity Ace, built in 2005, can carry up to 4000 cars. It was destined for the US, sailing from Emden port in Germany to Davisville, Rhode Island, online trackers have said.

The ship sounded the alarm after a fire broke out in the hold, the Associated Press has reported.

The Portuguese Navy said four merchant ships were assisting with the rescue near the island of Faial in the Azores, along with one of its own patrol boats. 

We're aware of an incident aboard the Felicity Ace, a specialised cargo ship carrying certain Porsche vehicles,” Porsche said on its Track Your Dream service, which customers can use to track the progress of their order. 

“Your dealership will provide you with additional information on how this impacts you as soon as we have additional information and know the full scope of the issue.

In a separate statement to The Drive on Wednesday, Porsche said: "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're in close contact with the shipping company and will share more information in due course."

Volkswagen meanwhile also released a statement, saying it was “aware of an incident today involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic.” 

The German firm said it wasn't aware of any injuries. “We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident,” it continued. 

It's not clear which specific vehicles the Felicity Ace was carrying.

The Portuguese Navy has said there are no further details about the recovery operation, but the ship is said to be drifiting eastwards.

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