Ship with thousands of Porsches, Bentleys cars burns on Atlantic Ocean
Porsche confirmed the presence of 1,100 of its cars on board the ship along with 189 Bentleys
Lisbon: A ship carrying thousands of vehicles, including 1,100 Porsches, has been burning since Wednesday. The 22 crew members of the ship have been evacuated. It is now drifting off the coast of the Azores, Portugal, in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The vessel, 'Felicity Ace', departed from Emden, Germany, on February 10 and was scheduled to arrive in Davisville, Rhode Island, US, on Wednesday.
The fire broke out in the cargo hold of the ship when it was about 200 miles from Terceira Island in the Azores, a Portuguese island territory. Portuguese forces on Wednesday evacuated the crew soon after the fire broke out.
The rescue operation, involving a chopper, was a "highly skilled and physically demanding" one, the authorities said. The rescued crew members were taken to the nearby Portuguese island of Faial.
So far, it is not clear how much of the 650-foot, 60,000-ton cargo ship's inventory was lost in the fire. The shipping company could not immediately be reached.
According to the automotive website, 'The Drive', the Volkswagen Group estimated nearly 4,000 vehicles were on board, including 189 Bentleys. Porsche confirmed the presence of 1,100 of its cars on board the ship.
A spokesperson for Porsche Cars North America issued a statement on Thursday evening, saying that 1,100 of the company's cars were on board but that the fate of the vehicles was unknown. She encouraged customers worried about their cars to contact their respective dealers.
"Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew members of the merchant ship, Felicity Ace, are safe and well," the statement said.