Cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars sinks two weeks after fire

Porsches and Bentleys onboard the 'Felicity Ace' were destroyed in incident which could result in losses of $155 million

The fire-damaged 'Felicity Ace', which was travelling from Germany to the US, adrift 100 kilometres from Portugal's Azores. The vessel has now sunk. Reuters

A cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars — including Porsches and Bentleys — has sunk, nearly two weeks after it caught fire off the Portuguese Azores archipelago, a port official has said.

The Panama-flagged Felicity Ace sank on Tuesday as efforts to tow it encountered difficulties due to structural problems caused by the fire and rough seas, Joao Mendes Cabecas, the captain of the nearest port on the island of Faial, told Reuters.

The blaze on the ship carrying around 4,000 vehicles made by Volkswagen Group from Germany to the US broke out on February 16. The 22 crew members were evacuated the same day.

“When the towing started... water started to come in,” he said. “The ship lost its stability and sank.”

The Felicity Ace is about the size of three football pitches.

Mr Cabecas said no oil leak had been reported so far but there were fears the fuel tanks could be damaged as the vessel lay at the bottom of the Atlantic at around 3,500 metres.

Volkswagen, which said last week the damage to the vehicles was covered by insurance, confirmed the ship has sunk. Insurance experts said the incident could result in losses of $155 million.

Updated: March 02, 2022, 7:15 AM