We've been closely following the news of a cargo ship that caught fire off the coast of Portugal carrying thousands of vehicles. Unfortunately, the vessel, along with its precious load, met its final fate and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after multiple salvage efforts came up short.
Back in mid-February, a fire broke out and quickly spread in the cargo hold of the delivery ship Felicity Ace, forcing its 22 crew members to abandon the ship. Luckily, the Portuguese Navy and other nearby vessels were able to rescue the crew.
An estimated 4,000 luxury vehicles consisting of Porsches, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys were reported on board the delivery ship. The vessel, which sailed from Emden, Germany, was supposed to transport its cargo to Davisville, Rhode Island when the incident happened.
While it's still unclear as to what caused the blaze, the situation was further complicated due to the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the ship. Burning lithium-ion batteries need special equipment to be put out, and it took several days before the fire was contained.
A local salvage team went to work and started towing the ship back to a safe area. However, according to MOL Ship Management (the Felicity Ace's operator), the crew encountered rough weather. Harsh sea conditions caused the ship to take in water from its starboard side, eventually causing it to sink in the Atlantic Ocean.
Reports suggest that the last known location of the Felicity Ace is 220 nautical miles from the coast of Azores, and salvage crews have remained close to the area for monitoring.
With the auto industry facing setbacks regarding supply issues, this incident just made it worse. Fortunately, there were no lives lost from the accident. However, owners in the US waiting for their vehicles may have to wait a bit longer before replacement units arrive.