The sea has finally claimed the Felicity As after weeks of global intrigue.
The freighter, which caught fire while carrying more than 4,000 Porsches, Bentleys and Lamborghinis across the Atlantic in mid-February, sank on Tuesday morning, according to Bloomberg News. The unexpected development extinguishes any hope of recovering any of the vehicles.
the Felicity As sank about 250 miles off the coast of the Azores in Portugal at around 9 a.m. local time. The boat was being towed to land when rough waters caused it to sink, Singapore-based MOL Ship Management confirmed.
“The weather was pretty rough there,” MOL spokesman Pat Adamson told the news agency. “And then she sank, which was a surprise.”
The 650-foot-long freighter was en route from Emden, Germany, to Davisville, Rhode Island, when it caught fire on February 16. Nearby commercial vessels and a helicopter were able to evacuate the entire crew of 22 from the boat. no injuries, but the inferno would rage for days. When the fire was finally extinguished on February 25, a rescue team was dispatched to tow the boat ashore.
The fire on board Felicity As is making international news, thanks in large part to its headline-grabbing cargo. The boat was carrying 3,965 Volkswagen AG vehicles, including 1,110 Porsches, 189 Bentleys and at least 21 Lamborghinis (an unknown number of Audis are also believed to be on board). The cars and SUVs were likely lost once the fire broke out, but Tuesday’s news confirms none will be recovered, according to The New York Times. The cost of the loss is expected to be at least $155 million, though much of it will be covered by insurance. Volkswagen told the newspaper it was already at work replacing lost vehicles.
Now that we know the fate of Felicity As and its cargo, attention will now turn to the environmental impact of the incident. A “small patch of oily residue” was visible after the sinking of the boat, the Portuguese Navy told Bloomberg. A cleanup team had already started trying to disperse the oil with water cannons, and divers and other equipment were to be sent to the area to help with the cleanup.