On Tuesday, a large cargo ship carrying thousands of luxurious cars sank in the Atlantic Ocean. The incident happened when Felicity Ace was transporting the German automobiles from Germany to the U.S. Two weeks prior to the sinking; the fire broke out on board. The cargo smouldered for 13 days, and even after the successful fire rescue mission, it sank at last. The luxurious cars belonged to the famous brands, namely Porche, Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley.
Felicity Ace being an immense ship, required the massive team of rescuers who would tow it several hundred nautical miles back towards Portugal to be refurbished. The rescuers reportedly arrived on February 25th to prepare the ship to take back East. Instead, the cargo vessel lopsided until it crashed onto its starboard side and did not seem redeemable any further. It was believed that the craft sank roughly 220 nautical miles from off the Portuguese Azores, taking all its vehicular cargo along with it.
Joao Mendes Cabecas, the captain of the nearest port on the island of Faial, told Reuters the ship sank during the towing process. It happened due to structural problems caused by the fire and violent seas.
“When the towing started … water started to come in,” he told Reuters. “The ship lost its stability and sank.”
Twenty-two crew members were rescued by the Portuguese airforce helicopter when the fire broke out. The Portuguese navy even confirmed the ship’s sinking outside Portuguese water in the depth of about 30,000 ft.
The exact numbers of crafts onboard are still unknown, but the cargo is designed to carry about 4000 vehicles at once. Unfortunately, the European automakers weren’t willing to disclose the exact number of damaged crafts.
“We are already working to replace every car affected by this incident, and the first new cars will be built soon,” Angus Fitton, vice president of PR at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., told the Associated Press.
This accident proves to be a significant setback for any automaker, and in this case, especially for Volkswagen Group, as they lost many premium vehicles. Volkswagen Group reported last week that the damage to the cars was covered by insurance. However, insurance experts said the incident could result in losses of $155 million. Audi and other VW-branded vehicles face a similar situation due to the unrecoverable conditions of fire and sinking incidents. Furthermore, electric cars with their EV batteries were also suspected of causing fire initially. The investigators looked into the matters, yet nothing concrete could be said about the incident. The authorities also feared that the damaged ship could also pollute the ocean. It carried approximately 2,000 metric tons of fuel and more than 17,000 metric tons of cargo.
It may be one of those incidents wherewith the sinking of the ship, the tangible pieces of evidence too have sunk low. But in this case, it took away with it approximately 189 Bentleys, over 1,000 Porsches, several dozen Lamborghinis, and multiple rows of VW and Audi cars.