No fewer than 37 Porsche cars worth, $10.8million and other luxury brands of vehicles went down with Italian container/RORO ship, Grande America, which sank off the French coast on Tuesday 12 March 2019.
The 37 Porsche cars onboard, including four models of the 911 GT2 RS, 718 Caymans, Boxters, and Cayennes, were worth $292,200 each, amounting to $10,811,400 in all.
Carscoops reported that the Stuttgart-based company has written a letter to its Brazilian customers informing them that they would reproduce the model especially for them.
“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,’ the company wrote to its customers. 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,” Porsche said.
Other luxury car brands in the sunken ship include Audi, which had an unspecified number of its models A3, A5, RS4, RS5 and Q7 onboard.
The prices of the Audi cars range from $44,200 to $74,200.
Grimaldi Lines, the Italian company, which operates the vessel, said that the ship carried 365 containers – 45 of which had hazardous materials. These materials, according to the Italian company, included 10 tons of hydrochloric acid and 70 tons of sulphuric acid.
French authorities said that because most of the materials onboard the ship had already burned, the damage was likely to be very localized and would not have serious consequences for the environment.
The 22-year old MV Grande America, owned by Grimaldi Lines, sank at 1526 hours local time about 180 nautical miles off the French coast.
The ship went under after a fire outbreak on the night of Sunday March 10 while it was underway in the Bay of Biscay during a voyage from Hamburg, Germany to Casablanca, Morocco. The fire was primarily located in cargo containers in the forward portion of the ship. Several containers fell off into the water while it was burning before it eventually sank on Tuesday afternoon.
All 27 crew members abandoned ship in a lifeboat and later rescued by British frigate HMS Argyll and were taken ashore to the French port of Brest.
Meanwhile, favourable weather conditions are facilitating pollution cleaning operations off the coast of France, where the ill-fated Grande America sank a week ago.
A number of vessels from the French Navy and Spanish maritime search and rescue agency are deployed in the clean up operation at the site of the sinking, some 335 km west of the French coast.
According to the Maritime Prefecture of Atlantic, authorities are constantly conducting flights for aerial observations.
Taking into account the environmental conditions in the Bay of Biscay, officials said that clusters of heavy fuel oil are unlikely to arrive on the French coast before late next week.
Earlier observations undertaken by the French and Spanish teams noted that there were three oil slicks originating from the sunken RoRo container ship.
The oil slicks measured 13 by 7 km and 9 by 7 km, local media said citing Stéphane Doll, director of Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre), while the latest one took up an area of about 5 km2.