Merchant ship Felicity Ace carrying thousands of Volkswagen Group luxury cars sank after losing stability approximately 25 nautical miles (46 km) from the limits of Portuguese territorial waters.
The accident occurred during the towing operations, which began on February 24, and the ship with its cargo is now lying on the bottom around 3,000 meters deep.
At the site of the sinking, ‘debris and oily residues’ can be seen being monitored, the Portuguese Navy said, adding that divers and other specialists, notably equipped with anti-pollution retention barriers, are monitoring the sea area.
With this communication officially released by the Portuguese Navy, the disastrous event that began on February 16 with the fire of the Felicty Ace ship while it was 90 nautical miles (about 170 kilometers) south-west of island of Faial, in the Azores. The huge ro / ro ferry (200 meters long) carried nearly 4,000 VW Group vehicles, including 1,100 Porsches and 190 Bentleys, many of them customized for customers. According to an estimate by the Russell risk consultancy, the value of the damage (insured) exceeds 400 million dollars, plus another 38 million not related to cars, and a loss for the Volkswagen Group of at least 155 million is expected.
According to specialized sources, the presence of numerous electric cars and their lithium ions batteries made the fire so destructive. lithium can cause fish, invertebrates, algae and marine habitat in general.