Race to salvage sinking cargo ship carrying 3,000 vehicles as it burns out of control in North Sea after fire ’caused by electric car’

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by Charles Rotter at wattsupwiththat.com

The Daily Mail reports

‘The crew tried to put out the fire themselves, but failed. Unfortunately one person died and several others were injured.’

The coastguard said the incident happened about 17 miles (14.5 nautical miles) north of the northern island of Ameland. Images taken from shore showed a long plume of grey smoke drifting over the sea from the stricken 650-foot ship.

The race is on to prevent the sinking of a cargo ship off the Dutch coast which is carrying almost 3,000 vehicles, including 350 Mercedes-Benz, as it burns out of control with an electric car believed to be behind the deadly fire.

At least one crew member died and others were injured after fire ripped through the Fremantle Highway, a 18,500-ton car-carrying vessel. Rescue helicopters and boats evacuated 23 crew members from the Panamanian-registered ship.

Officials have said there are ‘many’ wounded. Some suffered broken bones, burns and breathing problems and were taken to hospitals in the northern Netherlands, emergency officials said.

Coast guard spokeswoman Lea Versteeg stated:

hat the ship is carrying 2,857 cars, of which 25 are electrical.

Also, the ship was also carrying fifteen Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae supercars, with a rough retail price of more than $500,000 each.

She said this

‘made the fire even more difficult. It’s not easy to keep that kind of fire under control and even in such a vessel it’s not easy.’

Listing previous incidents, the Mail notes:

In 2022, a fire-ravaged US-bound cargo ship that was transporting thousands of supercars including Porsches sunk in the middle of the Atlantic.

The Felicity Ace sank about 250 miles off Portugal’s Azores Islands as it was being towed, just 13 days after a fire broke out on board.

The ship was transporting electric and non-electric vehicles, it was reported at the time. Suspicion fell on lithium batteries used in electric vehicles. 

Porsche lost 1,117 cars on the ship, Audi claimed a loss of 1,944 vehicles, Bentley lost 189, Lamborghini lost 85, and Volkswagen lost 561 cars.

If this incident can be properly traced to an electric car fire it’s obviously going to cause some rethinking in the shipping of electric vehicles.

There may be some serious insurance issues preventing electric vehicles from being shipped in freighters in the future. It will be a while before this all shakes out.

Perhaps electric car makers will jump on the bandwagon of “source locally”.

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