Azores, Portugal — A ship bound for the United States with over 4,000 European cars has sunk on Mar. 1, after catching fire two weeks ago.
After the Felicity Ace caught fire on Feb. 15, the 22-member crew were evacuated by the Portuguese Navy. Due to the electric car batteries onboard, only specialized firefighting tools could extinguish the flames.
Rather than leaving the flaming ship to float aimlessly in the middle of the Atlantic, a Dutch maritime towage company was contracted to tow the Felicity Ace to shore in hopes that firefighters with specialized equipment onshore could save some of the flaming vehicles.
While being towed, the Felicity Ace capsized after tilting starboard (its right side), taking over $400 million dollars’ worth of cargo to the bottom of the ocean. So far, there has not been an oil leakage that could threaten the area’s maritime species, including the endangered blue whale.
It is not known whether the capsized cars will be left in the middle of the Atlantic or salvaged and sold in slightly used condition.