Currently, a cargo ship named Felicity Ace, operated by Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, is unmanned and burning in the middle of the Atlantic cargo from the Volkswagen Group. Twenty-two crew members were rescued by the Portuguese Navy and were forced to leave the vessel empty, adrift in the ocean. The ship has numerous automobiles from the group including Porsches, Audis and Lamborghinis, said to be numbered in the thousands. It was originally on its way to Rhode Island from Germany. The auto industry is already ravaged from the semi-conductor shortage and other disruptions from COVID-19, and this will be another issue to deal with. Additionally, potential pollution from the fire could also be a problem to the area.
Per CBS News:
- The Felicity Ace can carry more than 18,700 tons of cargo. Typically, car transport ships fit thousands of vehicles on multiple decks in their hold.
- A Portuguese navy ship sailed to the vehicle transporter, which was sailing from Emden in Germany to the port of Davisville in Rhode Island, according to online vessel trackers. A navy statement said the fire was still burning and showed a photograph of large clouds of white smoke billowing out.
- The navy ship was to check whether the cargo vessel was in danger of sinking or causing pollution, Sousa Luís told The Associated Press.
- The ship's owner is seeking an ocean-going tug, but the Felicity Ace is unlikely to be towed to a port in Portugal's Azores Islands because of its size, Sousa Luís said.