About 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal, a giant cargo ship bound for New England is adrift in the water, abandoned by its crew and on fire. But onboard are thousands of luxury cars, with one bought by one of Massachusetts’ best-known auto dealers.
The 650-foot-long Felicity Ace is floating near Portugal’s Azores Islands after its crew of 22 evacuated last Wednesday due to a fire. Originally bound for Rhode Island, the ship instead will be towed back to Europe, the Associated Press said.
Ernie Boch Jr., who owns car dealerships across Massachusetts, owns a Bentley on the burning ship, WCVB reported.
With supply chain delays already hampering the Massachusetts auto industry, Boch told the TV station the fire will further disrupt dealers across the state and region.
“To lose all those cars is devastating to the industry,” he said. “Cars are so in-demand that when they’ve manufactured and they come off the line, they’re sold.”
Along with Bentleys, the Felicity Ace was also carrying other luxury brands — Porsches, Audis, Lamborghinis — under the Volkswagen Group to Rhode Island’s Port of Davisville. The ship can stash 5,000 cars, about 1,500 of which were to be offloaded to New England dealers, according to the Providence Journal.
There are multiple Porsche dealerships, about a dozen Audi dealerships and at least one Bentley dealership in Massachusetts, though which have cars on board the Felicity Ace is unclear.
Days after it first caught fire, the ship was still burning. A Portuguese Navy ship sailed to the Felicity Ace last week and photographed pale smoke still billowing from its hull.