A mammoth cargo ship believed to be carrying thousands of vehicles including 1,100 Porsches was on fire and drifting off the coast of the Azores on Thursday after its 22 crew members were rescued from the vessel.
The fire broke out on Wednesday morning in the cargo hold of the ship, called the Felicity Ace, which had departed from Emden, Germany, on Feb. 10 and was scheduled to arrive in Davisville, R.I., on Wednesday, according to a ship tracking website. The ship was about 200 miles from Terceira Island in the Azores, the Portuguese island territory, when Portuguese forces moved in on Wednesday to evacuate the crew.
No rescuers or crew members were injured in the “highly skilled and physically demanding” operation, which included a helicopter that whisked the crew members to the nearby Portuguese island of Faial, according to the authorities.
It was unclear how much of the 650-foot, 60,000-ton cargo ship’s inventory was lost in the fire and how the authorities would tend to the stricken ship. The shipping company could not immediately be reached.