Ship happens, folks.
If you ordered a new brand new Porsche, Volkswagen, Bentley or Audi recently, your new whip might be on fire in the middle of the ocean right now.
The Portuguese Navy has confirmed it has come to the aid of the Felicity Ace, a ship carrying cars across the Atlantic Ocean, after a fire broke out on one of their cargo decks and quickly spread.
The 22 crew members managed to escape on lifeboats and flee to a nearby Greek tanker ship, reports The Associated Press. The Portuguese Navy has been assisting in the rescue, using their helicopters to pick up crew from their refuge vessel.
The Felicity Ace has now been confirmed as “not in command.”
The ship had left a German port on Feb. 10 and was scheduled to arrive at Rhode Island on Feb. 23, but the fire broke out on Feb. 16 and the ship was left adrift near Portugal’s Azores Islands Wednesday.
The Naftika Chronika shared a photo of the boat smoking in the distance in a photo taken onboard the Resilient Warrior, where crew members were brought aboard during the rescue.
Matt Farah, who owns The Smoking Tire YouTube channel and reviews cars for a living, confirmed on Twitter Wednesday that his newly-purchased Boxter Spyder was one of the cars potentially destined for a watery grave.
Farah later clarified that he was waiting for updates from Porsche.
Popular auto review website The Drive confirmed with the Volkswagen Auto Group that there are approximately 4,000 vehicles on board the Felicity Ace, which the company has often chartered to bring their cars to North America.
Volkswagen confirmed that in addition to Porsche and VW vehicles, there are also 189 Bentleys and an unspecified number of Audis onboard.
On Wednesday, Porsche released a statement over the stricken ship.
“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.”
Volkswagen also released a statement: “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.”
According to AP, the ship’s company has requested a tug, but it’s unlikely to be towed to a port in the Azores because of the boat’s massive size.
There is no word on what caused the Ace to burst into flames, but officials say they are investigating.
Surprisingly, losing an entire cargo ship of cars happens more often than you’d expect.
A few years ago, Porsche sent one of their cars back into production after a ship carrying four of the company’s non-street legal 911 GT2 RS model broke out in flames off the coast of France and sunk to the floor of the Atlantic.
In 2019, a ship carrying about 4,200 cars tipped on its side off the coast of Georgia and required a massive clean-up effort.
And in 2020, a cargo ship carrying thousands of used vehicles went up in flames at a port in Florida, becoming so hot that it melted some of the cars inside.
There’s no word yet on how this latest incident will affect the already strangled automotive supply chain.