The 650-foot Felicity Ace was carrying 4,000 vehicles to the United States when it sent out a distress signal
Twenty-two crew members were rescued from the large cargo ship Felicity Ace on Wednesday after it sounded a distress signal when a fire broke out on board the vessel, which was carrying 4,000 vehicles, including Porsche and Volkswagen.
A Portuguese Navy statement confirmed that the rescue operation was carried out in response to a warning from the Panamanian-flagged ship.
The Portuguese Navy’s patrol ship NRP Setubal, four commercial vessels in the area and Portuguese Air Force assets have been activated to provide support and bring the crew to safety.
The ship, 650 feet in length, was heading from Emden in Germany to Davisville in the United States when a fire broke out near Faial Island in the Azores.
Porsche and Volkswagen issued statements in response to the situation.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the crew of the 22-man merchant vessel Felicity Ice, who we all understand are safe and sound after being rescued by the Portuguese Navy following reports of a fire on board,” A Porsche spokesperson said.
A statement from Volkswagen reads, “Today we became aware of an accident involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the accident.