By Jack Davis March 2, 2022 at 3:13pm
The fish off the coast of the Azores Islands will be swimming in luxury.
Thirteen days after a fire was first reported aboard the cargo ship Felicity Ace, it sank about 250 miles from the Azores on Tuesday with a cargo of about 4,000 luxury cars aboard, according to the New York Post. The Azores are located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 miles from the west coast of Europe.
The Post estimated that the collection of Bentleys, Porsches, Lamborghinis and Audis was worth about $400 million.
A report in the Daily Mail suggested that officials suspected that the lithium batteries used to power electric vehicles might have been a cause of the fire, but there was no firm conclusion.
The stricken Felicity Ace sank in rough seas on Tuesday, taking around 4000 cars to the bottom of the Atlantic https://t.co/GReRuBP4hG
— Car Throttle (@CarThrottle) March 2, 2022
The crew had been evacuated from the ship after the fire, and it was being towed. However, the ship had begun to list and take on water after the fire.
MOL Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd, which owns the Panama-flagged ship, said it sank at about 9 a.m. local time.
Salvage crews boarded the Felicity Ace merchant ship that caught fire with a cargo of luxury Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, and began towing the vessel to safety, the operator of the ship said Friday https://t.co/sct589Otwi
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 26, 2022
“This morning, during the towing process, which had begun on Feb. 24, the ship ‘Felicity Ace’ lost stability and sank some 25 nautical miles outside of the limits of Portugal’s exclusive economic zone, in an area with a depth of about [9,842 feet],” a Portuguese Navy statement said, according to The Washington Post.
The ship, which had been en route from Germany to Rhode Island when the fire broke out, was being towed to what its owner on Friday called “a safe area off [the] Azores.”
At that time, the Felicity Ace appeared to have “no fires on the outside or inside, although there is a high temperature in the central area, with no smoke in its structure,” the Portuguese navy said.
“Felicity Ace” cargo ship carrying Porsches, VWs, and Lamborghini sinks after fire, salvage crew says. https://t.co/CcfDh4W3uC pic.twitter.com/oJTL8JEqBc
— Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) March 1, 2022
On Tuesday the crew towing the ship faced “rough weather when the salvage team were first trying to get on board,” Pat Adamson, a spokesperson for MOL Ship Management, said.
“But we cannot say that the sinking was weather-related,” Adamson said.
More garbage added to the ocean floor. Does that occur to any of you at all? @Porsche @VW @BentleyMotors @AudiOfficial @Lamborghini @Bugatti @WSJ @saveourseas
Felicity Ace Cargo Ship Sinks, Taking Burnt-Out Porsches and Lambos With It https://t.co/a0tTQEO4Ar
— Nikki (@1313_1313_1313_) March 2, 2022
“Brands are working with their dealers and customers to replace these vehicles and find individual solutions,” Cameron Batten, chief communications officer for Volkswagen Group of America, said of the vehicles owners had hoped to be driving this summer.
Do you worry about this as a source of pollution?
One customer was philosophical.
Kay Murphy of Jacksonville, Florida, had been watching the progress of her Porsche until it stalled on the high seas after the fire. She then put the loss in context.
“My first concern was the ship’s crew,” Murphy said. “As my mother would say, ‘It’s just stuff.’ With all the craziness going on in the world today, that seems more true than ever.”