Ship Carrying 2,000 Cars Worth Millions Of Pounds Catches Fire And Sinks

Royal Navy crew managed to save 27 people on-board a ship which caught fire while transporting 2,000 cars in the Atlantic Ocean.

The crew of HMS Argyll spent a gruelling eight-hours rescuing everyone on Italian ship Grande America while in the Bay of Biscay.


The British Navy boat was making its way home to Plymouth following nine-months away when it received a mayday call from the 28,000-tonne merchant ship, where the crew were battling flames and about to abandon ship.

The 27-strong crew were able to get to safety after cramming into a lifeboat and making their way to HMS Argyll.

The ship had been headed to Brazil carrying millions of pounds worth of cars - among the vehicles on-board was a number Porsches, including four 911 GT2 RS, which retail for a around £222,065 ($293,200) apiece.

In letters to Brazilian customers waiting on their order seen by the Daily Mail, Porsche said: "We are sorry to inform you that, due to a fire, a Grimaldi group ship, that was transporting your vehicle, sank on March 12, 2019. And for that reason, your GT2 RS cannot be delivered.

"As you may know, Porsche ended the 911 GT2 RS production on February 2019 and under normal circumstances, it wouldn't be possible to give you another car.

"But, due to the nature of the situation, and considering that you're a loyal and highly valuable customer for our brand, Porsche has decided to resume the GT2 RS production in Germany, and your vehicle will be produced in April, with delivery scheduled for June.

"We recommend that you contact your local Porsche Centre for further information."

Members of HMS Argyll spent eight hours ensuring that every person was rescued, there were no life-threatening injuries reports, but some of the staff were taken to hospital. So, I guess the loss of a few fancy cars, isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Crew on the ship had unsuccessfully battled the flames, before issuing a mayday alert. Credit: Marine Nationale
Crew on the ship had unsuccessfully battled the flames, before issuing a mayday alert. Credit: Marine Nationale

Lieutenant Commander Dave Tetchner, from HMS Argyll, said: 'It was pretty awful for them - they'd had to fight a fire in dreadful seas.

"Every one of them suffered smoke inhalation. Then they faced the prospect of abandoning ship and then their lifeboat failed. It was pretty awful all round and they were shocked.

"You see container ships like this every day when you're sailing around the world. What you do not see is one in flames - it was a dreadful sight."

Featured Image Credit: Marine Nationale

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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