Fire Breaks Out Aboard Cargo Ship Carrying lithium-ion batteries

More than a week after the U.S. Coast Guard assisted a cargo vessel on fire carrying lithium-ion batteries, approximately 225 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, the Coast Guard reports the response is still underway to ensure the safety of the vessel.

The vessel remains anchored in Broad Bay near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and the salvage marine firefighting team began implementing the air circulation plan, with the purpose to increase air flow in the cargo holds of the ship Genius Star XI. 

Response personnel are executing the first step of that plan while continuously conducting air monitoring onsite and ashore.

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.

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

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 USCG reports that the response team successfully offloaded all empty CO2 bottles for refill and reinstallation.

The refilled bottles will be reloaded onto the vessel as part of the fire suppression system required by the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea requirements. 

Furthermore, air quality remains normal on the vessel and in the community of Unalaska. Teams will continuously conduct air monitoring as outside air is slowly circulated through the cargo holds.      

The technical expert advisory group is in the process of developing recommendations for opening the cargo hatches and conducting visual inspections once the air circulation process is completed.

Additional technical experts are enroute to evaluate options for entry into the cargo holds for further inspections.