A cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury vehicles sank off the Portuguese Azores archipelago nearly two weeks after it caught on fire. The Felicity Ace remained ablaze for days before firefighting vessels arrived to try to put out the fire.
By Friday (February 25), the flames had been extinguished, and a team of experts arrived to determine how to safely move the stranded 650-foot long vessel to the closest port.
Unfortunately, the fire caused too much structural damage to Felicity Ace, and it started to take on water once the tugboat began towing it. The ship sank about 250 miles from the coast, sending roughly 4,000 luxury vehicles made by Volkswagen, including Porsches and Bentleys, into the Atlantic Ocean.
“When the towing started… water started to come in,” Joao Mendes Cabecas, the captain of the nearest port on the island of Faial, told Reuters. “The ship lost its stability and sank.”
A salvage team is on-site, but there is not much they can do as the massive cargo ship settles on the ocean floor at a depth of more than 21 miles.
Last week, Volkswagen said its insurance will cover the loss of the vehicles, which are worth an estimated $155 million.