A automobile transport ship with a haul of 1000’s of Porsches, Bentleys, Audis and different manufacturers from the Volkswagen Group caught fireplace within the mid-Atlantic and went adrift off the Azores Islands, with the Portuguese Navy rescuing the vessel’s 22 crew members.

Delivery within the space was warned that the 200-meter-long (650-feet-long) Felicity Ace was adrift close to Portugal’s Azores Islands after the crew was taken off on Wednesday, Portuguese navy spokesperson Cmdr. Jose Sousa Luis mentioned.

The Felicity Ace can carry greater than 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons) of cargo. Usually, automobile transport ships match 1000’s of automobiles on a number of decks of their maintain, with the Felicity Ace having a capability to hold greater than 4,000 automobiles.

Volkswagen Group mentioned in a short assertion the Felicity Ace was transporting to the U.S. automobiles that the German automaker produced. The corporate declined to touch upon what penalties the incident might need for U.S. clients or the VW Group.

The Panamanian-flagged ship’s operator, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.Ok. Strains, mentioned in an e-mail to The Related Press (AP) it couldn’t present details about the cargo.

Automotive and navigation web sites reported that the vessel was carrying 1,100 Porsche and 200 Bentley luxurious automobiles.

A Portuguese navy ship sailed to the automobile transporter, which was crusing from Emden in Germany to the port of Davisville within the U.S. state of Rhode Island, in response to on-line vessel trackers. A navy assertion mentioned the fireplace was nonetheless burning and confirmed {a photograph} of huge clouds of white smoke billowing out.

The navy ship was to verify whether or not the cargo vessel was in peril of sinking or inflicting air pollution, Sousa Luis advised AP.

The ship’s proprietor is in search of an ocean-going tug, however the Felicity Ace is unlikely to be towed to a port in Portugal’s Azores Islands due to its measurement, Sousa Luis mentioned.

The crew have been taken by helicopter on Wednesday to Faial Island on the archipelago, about 170 kilometers (100 miles) away, and are staying at a lodge there. None of them was harm.

The Russian and Filipino crew was initially evacuated to the oil tanker Resilient Warrior, which was diverted to assist in the rescue operation, earlier than being flown by army helicopter to Faial, RTP reported.

The Felicity Ace reported a hearth within the maintain when it was 90 nautical miles southwest of Faial. The blaze “continued to unfold” throughout Thursday, the port captain at Horta a Faial, Joao Manuel Mendes Cabecas, advised public channel RTP.

He added that tugs have been anticipated to reach on Monday from Gibraltar to tow away the enormous ship.

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