Ship with Li-Ion Batteries Moored Near Dutch Harbor Post-Fire

Updated Published

According to the U.S Coast Guard, the M/V Genius Star XI that is carrying lithium-ion batteries has been anchored close to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and poses no immediate threat following from the fire in one of the cargo holds last week. 

The vessel has been moved to Broad Bay for storm avoidance, as a precautionary measure. This decision comes based on the recommendations from an Alaska Marine Pilot and the Salvage Master aboard the ship. 

On Tuesday, the Coast Guard provided an update on the vessel, stating that the teams responsible for assessment reported normal air quality on site, with no signs of heat in or around the cargo holds. 

Last Thursday, the fire was reported in a cargo hold last Thursday morning, while the ship was approximately 225 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. Concern was increased by the presence of lithium-ion batteries. 

The Coast Guard directed the vessel to continue towards the Dutch Harbor and await offshore for further instruction. The M/V Genius Star XI was moored using an Emergency Towing System that had been pre-staged onboard, just in case the ship lost propulsion and required towing. 

The atmosphere of the affected cargo remained non-flammable, confirmed the Coast Guard on Sunday. Remote sensoring tools have been used to assess the situation, whilst the cargo holds remain sealed. 

The vessel’s engines will be kept warm whilst it’s anchored, and a tug is in standby close by incase of adverse weather conditions meaning a relocation is required. Additionally, a one-mile safety zone around the vessel is in effect. Marines who need to enter the zone are required to request permission on VHF Channel 16. 

The Unified Command is managing the incident. This consists of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Gallagher Marine Systems, as well as the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 

The Unified Command is coordinating response efforts closely. As soon as response operations are finalized, an investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the fire in the cargo hold.

The M/V Genius Star XI, which is Panama-registered, is operated by Taiwan’s Wisdom Lines and was en route from Vietnam to Dutch Harbor when the fire began.