Car carrier adrift near Azores

by The Associated Press (APR)

A large cargo ship was drifting near the mid-Atlantic Azores Islands on Thursday after its 22 crew members were evacuated due to a fire on board, the Portuguese navy said.

Shipping in the area was warned that the 200-metre-long (650-feet-long) Felicity Ace was adrift. The ro-ro ship, operated by MOL, is carrying a cargo of vehicles, Portuguese navy spokesman Cmdr. Jose Sousa Luis said.

Sources report the ship isĀ  carrying a load of Porsche and Volkswagens for the U.S. market

A Portuguese navy ship was on its way to check whether the fire in the hold was still burning and whether the cargo ship was in danger of sinking or causing pollution, Sousa Luis told The Associated Press.

The ship’s owner is seeking an ocean-going tug, but the Felicity Ace is unlikely to be towed to a port in Portugal’s Azores Islands because of its size, he said.

The crew were taken by helicopter on Wednesday to Faial island on the archipelago, about 170 kilometers (100 miles) away, and are staying at a hotel there. None was hurt.

The ship was sailing from Emden in Germany to the port of Davisville in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, according to online vessel trackers.