USA TODAY reports the ship left Emden, Germany on February 10 and caught fire near the Terceira Island in the Azores, a Portuguese island territory, ahead of its scheduled arrival in Davisville, Rhode Island on Wednesday (February 16).
All 22 crew members aboard the ship were safely lifted out of the fire by a helicopter, which was captured in video footage shared by the Portuguese Air Force.
Authorities didn’t specify the exact number of cars included on the 60,000-ton ship, however, TheDrive.com reports the cargo included 4,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group, which included 189 Bentley and an unspecified number of Audi vehicles.
Matt Farah of the Smoking Tire car review podcast tweeted that the 2022 frozen-berry metallic Porsche Boxster Spyder — valued at around $123,000 — he’d been waiting on had drifted out to the ocean “possibly on fire” Wednesday.
““I just got a call from my dealer,” Farah tweeted. “My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the ocean.”
A spokeswoman for Porsche Cars North America confirmed 1,100 of the company’s vehicles were on board when the cargo ship caught fire in a statement issued to the New York Times Thursday (February 17) evening.
“Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew members of the merchant ship Felicity Ace are safe and well,” the statement said.