Air circulation begins on Genius Star XI after fire in cargo hold

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Salvage Marine Firefighting team began implementing the air circulation plan approved by the Unified Command Friday afternoon.

The purpose of this operation is to increase airflow in the cargo holds of Genius Star XI. 

The vessel remains anchored in Broad Bay, near Dutch Harbor, Alaska. 

The Unified Command’s Technical Expert Advisory Group developed an air circulation plan for the cargo holds and response personnel are executing the first step of that plan while continuously conducting air monitoring onsite and ashore.

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.       

Response personnel 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.  

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 en route to evaluate options for entry into the cargo holds for further inspections.  

The Unified Command, consisting of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Gallagher Marine Systems, and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, continues to work closely to coordinate response efforts on this incident.   

A one-mile safety zone around the vessel remains in place. Mariners who wish to enter that zone shall request permission on VHF Channel 16.        

An investigation into the cause will take place once response efforts are complete.