Cargo Ship Full of New Porsches and VWs Burns, Goes Adrift In Atlantic

An emergency onboard the cargo vessel Felicity Ace has forced the crew to evacuate, stranding multiple Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles in the middle of the Atlantic on a burning ship, including at least one very special 2022 Porsche Boxster. All 22 crew members have been reported safe, after being rescued by another shipping vessel shortly after issuing a distress call. 

The Felicity Ace is reportedly carrying mostly Porsche and VW models, and possibly other automakers’ vehicles. The ship left Emden, Germany on February 10 flying under the Panamanian flag, and issued its distress call yesterday, February 16 after a fire broke out in one of its cargo decks. The ship was due in port at Davisville, Rhode Island on February 23, but is now adrift without a crew and burning in the middle of the Atlantic, near the Portuguese Island of São Miguel.

Porsche issued a statement regarding its vehicles onboard the boat: “Our immediate thoughts are of the 22 crew of the merchant ship ‘Felicity Ace,’ all of whom we understand are safe and well as a result of their rescue by the Portuguese Navy following reports of a fire on board. We believe a number of our cars are among the cargo on board the ship. No further details of the specific cars affected are available at this time – we are in close contact with the shipping company and will share more information in due course. “

VW also issued a statement regarding the fire: “We are aware of an incident today involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident. ” 

Naftika Chronika reports the crew members were scooped up from lifeboats by Greek tanker “Resilient Warrior,” and were being transferred over from the tanker to the Portuguese Navy via helicopter in small groups before returning home. 

The Drive picked up that Matt Farah, host of The Smoking Tire podcast, shared on Twitter that his personal Porsche car on order was one headed over on the boat: “I just got the call from my dealer. My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the ocean. ” 

He followed up with more details: “The Boxster Spyder with Deman 4.5 motor and shorty gears is the best sports car of all time, hands down. I had it specced exactly as I wanted it. There is no moving on. ” 

Farah says he waited 8 months for his Porsche build, and he’s already been contacted by his Porsche dealer: “For everyone who is asking the dealer has promised to keep me posted with any updates on how Porsche decides to sort this out. Odds are a new build and hopefully not another 8 months wait for it. “

Porsche and VW forums, like 718forum.com, appear to include more owners being alerted or believing their vehicle order may be on the ship, as well. Porsche’s “Track Your Dream Car” delivery schedule tracking service also now includes a disclaimer that some orders may be interrupted by the Felicity Ace’s fire.

Strangely, this isn’t the first time the Volkswagen group has lost a cargo vessel full of its vehicles destined for the American market in the last few years. Back in 2019, the “Grande America” cargo ship sank off the coast of France with over 2,000 cars onboard, including brand-new 911 GT2 RS customer cars that Porsche had to reproduce from scratch all over again to replace.

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