Two weeks after a roll-on-roll-off (RORO) car carrier loaded with thousands of Volkswagen AG vehicles, including VW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini- branded models, caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean, it sunk Tuesday morning, according to Bloomberg.
The shipment of luxury vehicles had been bound for the US market, where a shortage of supply and surging demand has led to a severe crunch of new car supply.
Now the 656-foot long RORO, called Felicity Ace, has sunk to the bottom of the ocean, about 220 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal’s Azores Islands, around 0900 local time.
The RORO was severely damaged from a fire that broke out on Feb. 16 and was leaning 45 degrees to its starboard side as a fleet of tug boats and salvage craft accompanied the vessel as it was being towed back to shore. The ship sank due to rough seas:
“The weather was pretty rough out there,” Pat Adamson, a spokesperson for MOL Ship Management (Singapore), a unit of Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., said by phone. “And then she sank, which was a surprise.”
Volkswagen had 4,000 vehicles on board, and vessels in the area monitored the situation. Adamson said.
“There doesn’t appear to be any oil pollution yet — they’re checking on that.”
For any car enthusiast hoping to score a waterlogged Porsche, Bentley, and or Lamborghini, well, the ship sank in waters about 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) deep.