LISBON (Reuters) – Tough waters compelled authorities on Wednesday to postpone a salvage operation for a ship filled with luxurious automobiles which were on fireplace for every week in the course of the Atlantic Ocean, a port official stated.

With groups unable to board the Felicity Ace, heavy tug boats sprayed water to chill the vessel, which is carrying round 4,000 automobiles together with Porsches, Audis and Bentleys.

The 22 crew members had been evacuated final Wednesday, the day the hearth started.

A few of the automobiles are electrical and their lithium-ion batteries have made the hearth very tough to extinguish, port officers have stated.

João Mendes Cabeças, the captain of the closest port on the Azorean island of Faial, stated the blaze had misplaced its depth, most likely as a result of there was little left to burn.

Salvage groups hoped to board the ship, which is is adrift round 170 km southwest of the Portuguese islands of Azores, to evaluate its situation and begin making ready it for towing, the navy stated in a press release on Tuesday.

It’s unclear if the vessel might be towed to the Bahamas or Europe.

Cabeças informed Reuters dangerous climate prevented the crew from boarding the ship. Waves as excessive as 2.5 meters battered the coast of Faial on Wednesday, Portugal’s climate company IPMA stated.

The salvage crew was anticipated to be flown to the ship on a helicopter belonging to the Portuguese air power, which is able to determine on Thursday if the operation can proceed, Cabeças stated.

Ship supervisor Mitsui O.S.Ok. Strains Ltd (MOL) stated in a press release on Tuesday the vessel was nonetheless on fireplace however steady, and that no oil leak had been reported to date. It didn’t reply to a Reuters request for touch upon the reason for the hearth.

Insurance coverage consultants stated the incident might end in losses of $155 million.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Enhancing by Barbara Lewis)