Ship carrying hundreds of luxurious vehicles to be towed after catching fireplace at sea close to Azores

A ship carrying round 4,000 automobiles, together with Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, that caught fireplace close to the coast of the Azores can be towed to a different European nation or the Bahamas, the captain of the closest port advised Reuters on Friday.

Lithium-ion batteries within the electrical vehicles on board the car service Felicity Ace have caught fireplace and the blaze requires specialist gear to extinguish, Capt. Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas mentioned.

It was not clear whether or not the batteries first sparked the fireplace.

“The ship is burning from one finish to the opposite … the whole lot is on fireplace about 5 meters above the water line,” Cabecas mentioned.

Footage offered by the Portuguese maritime authority confirmed extreme burns on the bow and alongside the 200-metre-long aspect of the ship, which based on Refinitiv knowledge was inbuilt 2005 and might carry 17,738 tonnes of weight.

Towing boats en route

Towing boats have been en route from Gibraltar and the Netherlands, with three attributable to arrive by Wednesday, Cabecas mentioned. He added the vessel couldn’t be towed to the Azores as a result of it was so large it could block commerce on the port.

A 16-person salvage group from Smit Salvage, owned by Dutch marine engineer Boskalis, was despatched to the ship to assist management the flames, Boskalis mentioned.

The Panama-flagged ship, owned by Snowscape Automotive Carriers SA and managed by Mitsui O.S.Ok. Traces Ltd, was touring from Emden, Germany — the place Volkswagen has a manufacturing unit — to Davisville in the US, primarily based on the Maritime Site visitors web site.

Mitsui O.S.Ok. Traces Ltd and Smit didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The 22 crew members on board have been evacuated on Wednesday, when the fireplace broke out, with nobody damage, Portugal’s navy mentioned in a press release.

Porsches, Bentleys on board

Round 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys have been on board, spokespeople for the automobile manufacturers owned by Volkswagen mentioned. Audi, one other Volkswagen model, confirmed a few of its automobiles have been additionally on the ship however didn’t state what number of.

A picture captured Wednesday offers an aerial view of the Felicity Ace, after the fireplace broke out. (Portuguese Air Drive/Reuters)

Volkswagen didn’t verify the overall variety of vehicles on board and mentioned it was awaiting additional data.

YouTuber Matt Farah, whose automotive evaluation channel “The Smoking Tire” has greater than 1 million followers, mentioned on Twitter he was contacted by a automobile seller who mentioned the Porsche he ordered was aboard the ship.

“My automobile is now adrift, probably on fireplace, in the midst of the ocean,” Farah tweeted.

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