If you order a car from the factory, and that factory happens to be on a different continent, it will probably rely on a boat to get across whatever ocean lies between you and it. Usually, it sails the seven seas and gets to its destination without drama, but that isn't always a guarantee, as events over the last week have shown.
The cargo ship Felicity Ace caught fire on a trip from Germany to the US last week. The Associated Press, citing a spokesperson for the Portuguese navy, reported that all 22 crew members have been evacuated. Portuguese ships will now work to determine whether or not the Felicity Ace's fire has subsided, and whether the ship may sink or leak pollutants. None of the Felicity Ace's crew were injured, according to the AP report.
What does this have to do with cars? Well, the Felicity Ace is reportedly carrying a number of Volkswagen Group vehicles destined for sale in the US, including vehicles with Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen badges. Motor1's report points to a tweet from user Zerin Dube, which includes a screenshot of Porsche's online order tracker confirming the sticky situation.
Porsche issued a general statement confirming the presence of Porsche vehicles on the Felicity Ace and expressing relief that the crew are safe. "While it remains too early to confirm what occurred and next steps, we are -- along with our colleagues at Porsche AG -- supporting our customers and our dealers as best we can to find solutions," the statement reads.
With the crew members removed from the boat, the Portuguese Navy has set its sights on quelling the ongoing fire and returning the boat to terra firma. According to AP's most recent update, the fire may be dying down, thanks in part to firefighting tugboats blasting the ship's hull with water. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but a local port supervisor told AP that lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles inside the ship might be complicating the subsequent firefighting. Once it's safe to do so, the boat will likely be towed to the Bahamas.