UPDATE! As of Tuesday morning, the Felicity Ace, a cargo ship carrying thousands of brand new vehicles from Volkswagen, Lamborghini, and Porsche, has sunk. Back on the morning of February 16th a fire broke out on the Pacific Ocean traversing Panama-flagged liner carrying something like 4,000 cars. At the time of the fire the ship was about 90 miles southwest of the Azores en route from Germany to Rhode Island to drop off a sweet load of new cars.
As I’m sure you know by now, all 22 of the ship’s crew were safely extracted without injury and taken ashore. That is, unfortunately, the only bit of good news to come from the fire. For several days the ship remained engulfed in flame before slowly dying out as all of the burnable materials onboard succumbed to the flame. For those who need a little help with that message, that means all the cars, Porsches included, have burned to a crisp.
In the process of letting the ship burn out, which took about a week thanks in no small part to the lithium ion batteries of all the electric vehicles onboard, the whole thing has drifted about 160 miles in the last two weeks. It’s final resting place is about 250 miles offshore from the Azores.
Last week the risk-modeling company Russell Group indicated that a full write-off of the ship would cost automakers at least $155 million in insurance claims. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the full cost, however, as it was estimated to have been carrying some 438 million dollars in goods, at least 400 million in automobiles alone.
Tugboats and salvage craft were in the area to escort the ship to port in the Carribean where it would have been cut apart for scrap and salvage. Unfortunately it didn’t even begin the journey as rough seas saw the ship listing lazily to starboard before succumbing to the depths. It is still unclear what caused the fire to break out.
If your Porsche order was onboard, you’ve likely already talked to your dealer about next steps, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last two weeks, here’s your notification to check on your allocation. Call your dealer, it’s time you’ve had the talk.