Felicity Ace, a Panama-flagged cargo ship with thousands of Volkswagen vehicles, caught fire on February 10. The ship was sailing 90 nautical miles southwest of Portugal's Azores when a distress signal was issued due to fire breaking out, the New York Times reported quoting a Portuguese Navy statement.
The ship departed from Emden, Germany and was expected to arrive in Davisville, Rhode Island on Wednesday.
The Portuguese forces moved in on Wednesday to evacuate the crew when the ship reached Azores, the Portuguese island territory.
No rescuers or ship members have reported any injuries in the “highly skilled and physically demanding” operation, which included a helicopter that whisked the crew members to the nearby Portuguese island of Faial, as per the NYT report.
The shipping company could not immediately be reached due to which it is still unclear about the inventory lost in the fire.
The NYT report also quoted The Drive, an automotive news website, saying that, according to the Volkswagen Group, there were nearly 4,000 vehicles on board, including 189 Bentleys.
The fire incident comes as showrooms across the country are levelling up to meet consumer demand amid supply-chain problems caused during the COVID-19.
In a statement released yesterday evening, according to NYT, a spokeswoman for Porsche Cars North America said 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 car to contact their dealer.
“Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew members of the merchant ship Felicity Ace are safe and well,” the statement said.
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