Feb. 17 (UPI) — A cargo ship carrying luxury cars has been left floating adrift in the Atlantic Ocean after a fire on board forced the crew to abandon it.
The Felicity Ace, a 656 foot-long roll-on/roll-off car carrying ship, caught fire Wednesday while transporting cargo including Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles from Germany to Rhode Island.
The Portuguese Navy said the fire broke out in the cargo hold, while it was sailing 90 nautical miles southwest of Portugal’s Azores but quickly spread, forcing all 22 crew members to escape.
All of the crew members were safely picked up and taken to a local hotel in a rescue effort coordinated by the Ponta Delgada Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center, the Portuguese Navy said.
It added that the fire has not been the source of any noticeable pollution.
Owners of the ship, which is registered to Panama and operated by Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines have arranged for a tow.
Both Porsche and Volkswagen told Car and Driver that they were aware of the incident aboard the Felicity Ace.
Porsche said that customers who purchased vehicles that were on the ship will be contacted by their dealership which will provide “additional information on how this impacts you as soon as we have additional information and know the full scope of the issue.”
Volkswagen said it was “working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident.”