60,000-Ton Cargo Ship Carrying 1,100 Luxury Cars Bursts Into Flames, Left Adrift In Atlantic Ocean

Not the ship mentioned in the story (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A 60,000-ton cargo ship carrying Porsches and other luxury vehicles caught fire Wednesday with 22 crew members aboard.

The fire started Wednesday morning in the Felicity Ace’s cargo hold, where at least 1,100 Porsches were held along with potentially a few thousand other vehicles, including Volkswagens, according to The New York Times. The Felicity Ace set sail Feb. 10 from Emden, Germany, and was traveling to Davisville, Rhode Island, according a ship tracking website.

Felicity Ace was off the coast of the Azores archipelago when the fire broke out and remained adrift near there as of Thursday morning, according to NPR. The Azores are part of Portuguese territory in the mid-Atlantic, and due to its massive size, the vessel will likely not be able to brought to one of the Azores Islands ports, according to a Portuguese Navy Spokesperson who spoke to the Associated Press.

The 22 crew members aboard were rescued Wednesday by the Portuguese Navy. None of the crew members or rescue forces were harmed in the helicopter-involved rescue mission, The NYT reported. (RELATED: A Ship Filled With Cars Is On Fire In The Middle Of The Pacific Ocean)

“Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew of the merchant ship ‘Felicity Ace’ are safe and well. A number of our cars are among the cargo,” a spokesperson for Porsche’s North American division told NBC Bay Area. “We are in contact with the shipping company and the details of the cars on board are now known. While it remains too early to confirm what occurred and next steps, we are — along with our colleagues at Porsche AG — supporting our customers and our dealers as best we can to find solutions.”