Burning Vessel Diverted to Dutch Harbor, Alaska

December 30, 2023

Source: US Coast Guard
Source: US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard is continuing to assess a fire reported on the 410-foot general cargo vessel Genius Star XI off Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The vessel is carrying lithium-ion batteries, and the fire started on Christmas Day in cargo hold No. 1. The crew released carbon dioxide into the hold and sealed it over concerns of an explosion.

The Coast Guard then diverted the vessel to Dutch Harbor while an HC-130 airplane from Air Station Kodiak and Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley (WMEC-39) were dispatched to assist.

The Coast Guard confirmed there are no injuries to the 19 crewmembers. A team of marine firefighting experts from T&T Salvage and Resolve Marine embarked the ship Friday to begin an on-site assessment of the vessel’s condition, and found no signs of structural deformation or blistering outside of the compartment.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage issued a Captain of the Port Order to Genius Star XI to remain two miles offshore. Also, the Captain of the Port established a one-mile safety zone around the vessel for the duration of the response effort.

“A top priority is the safety of the crewmembers and responders aboard Genius Star XI, the safety of the community in Unalaska, and mitigating any potential environmental impact,” said Rear Admiral Megan Dean, Commander of the 17th Coast Guard District.

“The Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Gallagher Marine Systems, T&T Salvage, and the State of Alaska are working in a Unified Command to respond safely and swiftly. The Unified Command is also working closely with Unalaska city officials to address local concerns and keep the community informed of response efforts.”

The cause of the fire remains unknown, the Coast Guard stated on Saturday.

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