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About two years ago, a huge cargo ship carrying thousands of high-end luxury cars suddenly caught fire. It was hauling the vehicles across the Atlantic, from Germany to Rhode Island. The cargo was worth millions. So, what happened, exactly?

The Felicity Ace burned for days before sinking

A fire-damaged cargo ship, the Felicity Ace, before sinking
Portuguese Naval Forces / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In mid-February 2022, a fire broke out on the Felicity Ace. MOL Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd. owned the freighter. Over the course of two days, the entire 22-member crew was rescued from a nearby oil rig. While awaiting transport, the crew watched the ship burn, unable to control or stop it.

The Felicity Ace burned for days. EV battery fires broke out, complicating salvage efforts. After all, EV battery fires are extremely difficult to extinguish with traditional firefighting practices. A fire that large simply couldn’t be managed. After a couple of weeks, the ship could take no more. It sank while news and other crews hovered from a safe distance.

Bentleys, Porsches, Lamborghinis, and more luxury cars were on board the Felicity Ace

An incredible range of luxury cars, sports cars, and supercars will forever rest on the ocean floor. Many were Audis and Volkswagens. Porsche and other OEMs encouraged customers who had been waiting for their models to arrive stateside to contact them.

As we reported back when the event occurred, there were also some rare and classic cars aboard. Models included a 1977 Land Rover Santana, 1996 Honda Prelude SiR, Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 (perhaps Matt Farah’s?), a 2007 BMW 750i, a 2015 Mustang, and 12 Fendt tractors, among others.

We can assume that the ship’s owner and the OEMs had insurance coverage for such events. Still, we can’t imagine the total financial damages. What’s more, environmental advocates remain concerned about the fluids, chemicals, acids, and other materials dumped into the oceanic ecosystem via both the cargo ship and the 4,000 luxury cars.