Unified Command reports no active fire aboard cargo ship

By Jasz Garrett

As of Saturday night, the U.S. Coast Guard announced there was no longer an active fire on the Genius Star XI. A team continues to monitor the situation. (Photo courtesy of 17th Coast Guard District)

Unalaska, Alaska (KINY) – There is no longer an active fire aboard the Genius Star XI after several days of burning. The ship was directed to anchor in Broad Bay, near Dutch Harbor, Alaska following the findings.

“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,” Captain of the Port, Captain Chris Culpepper said.

The team confirmed the safety of the crew members onboard and completed a preliminary assessment of the vessel’s condition.  No injuries were reported for the 19 crewmembers. 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.

The T&T Salvage marine firefighting team remains aboard the Genius Star XI and reports regular temperature readings in the cargo hold on Sunday afternoon.

The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Gallagher Marine Systems, and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, who continue to work together in response to this incident.  

The Coast Guard will issue a new Captain of the Port Order directing the vessel to remain away from marine traffic and await additional technical experts who can certify the cargo hold is safe to enter.  

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 situations that could pose a threat to the local community, the Captain of the Port will direct the Genius Star XI to proceed offshore.

An interagency command post has been established in Anchorage to coordinate the response.

The management team is working with onsite personnel to identify additional resources to mobilize to the incident site to conduct additional assessments and prepare for further operations.

The Unified Command is also providing a virtual briefing daily with area stakeholders to provide information on the status of the vessel and future operational plans. 

Mariners may tune in to VHF Channel 16 for safety zone information.

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