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Cargo ship with Porsches, Lamborghinis on fire

February 18, 2022

Freighter Felicity Ace was carrying almost 4,000 cars bound for the US. The ship's crew was rescued, but the vessel was left unmanned and drifting at sea.

The Felicity Ace cargo ship on fire off the coast of Portugal
The ship was transporting VW-group cars, including luxury vehicles, from GermanyImage: Marinha Portuguesa

Nearly 4,000 cars, including Audis, Porches and Lamborghinis, were going up in smoke on a freighter that caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Portugal's Azores islands.

The Panama-flagged Felicity Ace was carrying Volkswagen Group vehicles from Germany to the US, a VW spokesperson said on Friday.

It caught fire on Wednesday evening, and Portugal's navy and air force rescued its 22-strong-crew.

Two men hang from from a wire above a deck of Felicity Ace
Rescuers used a helicopter to evacuate 22 crew membersImage: Forca Aerea Portuguesa/AFP

Felicity Ace adrift near Azores

An internal email from Volkswagen US said the ship carried 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands.

A Porsche spokesperson confirmed nearly 1,100 Porsche vehicles were on board. Audi also said some of its cars were on the ship but did not state how many.

The Portuguese navy was keeping an eye on the burning ship.

A Dutch salvage company would examine the possibility of towing the ship to a port, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

lo/dj (Reuters, DPA)