Fire Breaks Out Aboard Cargo Ship Carrying lithium-ion batteries

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted a vessel on fire initially located approximately 225 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, last Friday.

There were no injuries to the 19 crew members aboard the 410-foot cargo vessel Genius Star XI, which was carrying lithium-ion batteries, the coast guard said in a release.

There is no active fire on vessel loitering outside Dutch Harbor, Alaska, according to a statement late Saturday.

The coast guard confirmed on Sunday that the ship remains safely anchored in Broad Bay, Alaska, complying with the latest Captain of the Port Order.  It was also reported that there is no immediate risk of fire.  

The 17th Coast Guard District Command Center in Juneau received a report on December 28 of a cargo hold fire aboard vessel Genius Star XI.

The Coast Guard directed the Genius Star XI to continue toward Dutch Harbor while an HC-130 airplane from Air Station Kodiak and the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley (WMEC-39) were dispatched to provide assistance.

In accordance with an update on Saturday, the T&T Salvage marine firefighting team remains aboard the Genius Star XI and reports regular temperature readings in the cargo hold.

The team confirmed the safety of the crew members onboard and completed a preliminary assessment of the vessel’s condition. 

Based on temperature readings and other indicators, the Unified Command believes the condition of the vessel is stable with no indication of heat in the cargo holds.

“Informed by the findings of the Salvage and Marine Firefighting team, the Unified Command will direct the Genius Star XI to anchor in a place of refuge in Broad Bay, near Dutch Harbor, Alaska,” said Captain Chris Culpepper, Captain of the Port. 

“This protected anchorage has been pre-identified in the Area Contingency Plan and will allow the vessel to remain stable, minimizing risk of any re-flash of the fire as we continue our response.” 

At this time, the cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation into the cause of the fire will take place once response efforts are complete.

“The US coast guard will issue a new Captain of the Port Order directing the vessel to remain at the specified anchorage away from marine traffic and await additional technical experts who can certify the cargo hold is safe to enter,” the coast guard said on Saturday.

The one-mile safety zone in effect around the vessel will remain in effect to protect waterway users and the local community.  

Technicians from the Salvage and Marine Firefighting team remain onboard the vessel and are continuously monitoring environmental indicators.

“If they detect any indicators of heat or other hazardous situation that could pose a threat to the local community, the Captain of the Port will direct the Genius Star XI to proceed offshore,” the US coast guard added.

Fire Breaks Out Aboard Cargo Ship Carrying lithium-ion batteries

(Photo courtesy of T&T Salvage and Marine Firefighting team)

The ship sits at anchor near Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Dec. 30.