RI in national headlines for cars burning adrift in the Atlantic

Kaicie Boeglin

Editor-in-Chief

Collaged by Kaicie Boeglin

Rhode Island is in national news as a merchant ship with roughly 4,000 luxury vehicles goes up in flames admits its journey to Davisville. Maritime control noted that merchant ship the 'Felicity Ace' was making its way from Emden, Germany to Davisville, Rhode Island when it caught a flame mid voyage.


The ship's crew consisted oRI in national headlines for cars burning adrift in the Atlantic 22 members which were all saved by a Portuguese military air rescue ーcaught on camera. The fire was first reported on Feb. 16, with the Portuguese military actively responding to the call. The ship continued to burn off the Portuguese coast for two days. Upon the rescue of the 22 crew members 18,000 tons were left to float in flames. The Portuguese Navy currently reports no signs of pollution.


NBC news cites roughly 4,000 luxury rides aboard the ship which included 189 Bentleys and 1,100 Porsches. Audi and Volkswagen did not confirm how many cars they had on board. Majority of the luxury rides onboard were confirmed to be customized to order. The vehicles aboard the ship were those that customers had been waiting up to a year for. The Portuguese Navy currently cannot report if any of the cars are salvageable, however the ship is still being towed to its final destination of Davisville, Rhode Island.


Captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas, told Reuters that lithium-ion batteries in the electric cars were the reason that the fire started and that specialist equipment was required for it to be extinguished.


According to a statement from a Porsche rep to NBC news on Feb. 19, "our immediate thoughts are relief that the 22 crew of the merchant ship 'Felicity Ace' are safe and well... anyone concerned by this incident and the implications on the car they've ordered should contact their Porsche dealer."


The port of Davisville, Rhode Island is the top auto port on the East Coast. This incident with the 'Felicity Ace' creates another issue of those who ordered their cars before the impending chip shortage now having to wait longer for their customized luxury vehicle.


Car dealers are currently contacting all the customers of the vehicles aboard the ship. One customer in particular was YouTuber Matt Farah, creator of automotive review channel “The Smoking Tire” which has more than a million followers. Farah took to Twitter with his blunt reaction, “My car is now adrift, possibly on fire, in the middle of the ocean.”


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