Abandoned cargo ship carrying more than 1,000 luxury cars is burning in the Atlantic

An initial salvage team is expected to arrive Friday.

February 18, 2022, 11:09 AM

An abandoned cargo ship carrying more than 1,000 Porsches and other luxury vehicles is burning in the Atlantic Ocean.

The fire on the Felicity Ace broke out on Wednesday. The ship was sailing about 90 kilometers southwest of the island of Faial in Portugal when the flames erupted, according to the country's military.

PHOTO: The logo of the car manufacturer Porsche.
The logo of the car manufacturer Porsche.
Picture Alliance/dpa via Getty Images, FILE

All 22 crew members on board were rescued by members of the Portuguese Air Force and are in "good health," according to Snowcape Car Carriers, the ship's owner.

The Felicity Ace is still adrift in the Atlantic Ocean but Snowcape Car Carriers said an initial salvage team is estimated to arrive Friday.

"Further salvage assets are being readied to attend the vessel," the company said.

It's unclear what caused the fire.

PHOTO: The Felicity Ace cargo ship carrying cars to the United States is pictured in an image released by the Portuguese Navy on their website.
The Felicity Ace cargo ship carrying cars to the United States is pictured in an image released by the Portuguese Navy on their website.
Marinha Portuguesa

A ship tracking website shows that the Felicity Ace was en route to Rhode Island.

The fire comes as car manufacturers grapple with inventory issues brought on by the chip shortage.

“Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew of the merchant ship 'Felicity Ace' are safe and well," Porsche said in a statement. "We are in contact with the shipping company and the details of the cars on board are now known. While it remains too early to confirm what occurred and next steps, we are – along with our colleagues at Porsche AG – supporting our customers and our dealers as best we can to find solutions."

PHOTO: The VW logo is on display at the headquarters of German carmaker Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, on March 26, 2021.
The VW logo is on display at the headquarters of German carmaker Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, northern Germany, on March 26, 2021.
Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Volkswagen confirmed to ABC News that it too had cars on the vessel.

"We are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident," the German automaker said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events