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Press Release | Dec. 30, 2023

Unified Command reports no active fire on vessel loitering outside Dutch Harbor, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska – The T&T Salvage marine firefighting team remains aboard the Genius Star XI and reports regular temperature readings in the cargo hold, Saturday. 

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.

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.  

“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.” 

The 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 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.

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.  

  Information Contacts:  

U.S. Coast Guard: LCDR Mike Salerno – 907-957-0639 –

State of Alaska – ADEC: Kathy Shea – 907-269-3071 –  

Gallagher Marine Services: Mr. Jim Butler – 907-398-8866 –