Stock Groups

Ship carrying Porsches and Bentleys ablaze near Azores, towing boats en route


Felicity Ace was travelling from Emden in Germany, where Volkswagen owns a plant, to Davisville, Rhode Island. It burned more than 100 kilometers from the Azores Islands, Portugal on February 17, 2022.

Portuguese Navy

A vessel carrying approximately 4,000 vehicles including Bentleys, Audis, and Porsches caught on fire close to the Azores coast. According to Captain of the nearest port, the ship will be towed safely to another European country, or even the Bahamas.

The Lithium-ion battery packs on board the electric cars have caught fire, and it is necessary to extinguish the flames using specialist equipment. Captain Joao Mendes Cabecas from the port of Hortas reported that this was due to the use of special equipment.

The cause of the flames was unknown.

“The ship is burning from one end to the other… everything is on fire about five meters above the water line,” Cabeças said.

Cabecas stated that three towing boats had arrived from Gibraltar, the Netherlands and were expected to arrive in Gibraltar by Wednesday. Cabecas stated that the Azores could not tow the large vessel because of its size, which would have prevented trade from the port.

Boskalis reported that the ship was rescued by Smit Salvage’s sixteen-person team to put out the flames.

Snowscape Car Carriers manages this Panama-flagged ship. Mitsui O.S.K. LinesHe was travelling from Emden in Germany to meet his wife. VolkswagenBased on the Maritime Traffic website, has a factory – Davisville, USA.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Smit have not responded to my request for comment.

On Wednesday the 22 crewmembers were evacuated from board, after which the fire broke out. No one was hurt, Portugal’s navy stated in a statement.

According to spokespeople from the brands, there were around 1,100 Porsches onboard and 189 Bentleys. Audi, another Volkswagen manufacturer, also confirmed that some vehicles were on board, but didn’t specify how many.

Volkswagen refused to verify the exact number of cars aboard and indicated that they were awaiting more information.

Matt Farah (a YouTuber whose auto review channel “The Smoking Tire”, has over a million subscribers) stated on Twitter that he was approached by a dealer to confirm the Porsche he had ordered was in the ship.

Farah tweets, “My car has drifted, perhaps on fire in the middle the ocean.”