Genius Star XI is at dock in Unalaska, while Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley now in Kodiak after 45 days in Bering Sea on rescue, enforcement duty

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The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned home to Kodiak on Monday, after 45 days on patrol in the Bering Sea.

After spending the holidays mostly in the Bering Sea, the Alex Haley was called to respond to the freighter Genius Star XI, which had reported a cargo hold fire west of Dutch Harbor in heavy weather around Christmas.

The Alex Haley sailed through high seas and gale force winds to reach the Genius Star XI during fierce, wintery conditions.

Genius Star XI docked in Unalaska on Tuesday.

The cargo ship was brought into a remote, protected bay for further evaluation and has been there ever since.

On Tuesday, the Genius Star XI was relocated to Unalaska Dock 1 and 2, where crew will continue working to ensure the ship is safe to continue its voyage. Responders will work to secure the lithium-ion industrial battery unit cargo that was damaged. The vessel’s crane will be used to load supplies to secure damaged and dislocated cargo. There is no plan to land any cargo from the vessel shoreside in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and air quality is being monitored.

Meanwhile, in addition to maintaining a search and rescue presence in the Bering Sea, the crew of the Alex Haley conducted law enforcement and marine resource protection throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island chain to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations and support a working relationship with the Alaskan fishing fleet. Alex Haley conducted nine fisheries boardings, issuing three Living Marine Resources violations and two safety violations. 

After the incident with the Genius Star XI, Coast Guard District 17 redirected the cutter to disabled fishing vessel Aleutian No. 1 off the coast of Amchitka, 575 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. Alex Haley sailed through heavy seas again to arrive on scene and safely establish a tow during nighttime gale conditions, subsequently towing the 121-foot ship and crew of eight 160 miles to safe harbor in Adak. 

Alex Haley is a 282-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that performs search and rescue, fisheries law enforcement, and maritime security across Alaska. It has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999, and was the recipient of the 2023 Captain Hopley Yeaton Cutter of the Year Award (medium). This award is named for legendary seafarer Capt. Hopley Yeaton, the first officer commissioned into the service.

Prior to departing for the Bering Sea, the crew had completed their Tailored Ship Training Assessment in Seattle to evaluate the crew’s capability to respond to a wide range of scenarios, from seamanship drills to battling shipboard fires and flooding. The crew earned an overall score of 98% across all warfare areas. 

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