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Thread: Fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

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    Fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

    Explosion and Fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

    Sailors have been hurt in a fire aboard amphibious warship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), which is docked the pier at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., local officials said on Sunday.

    “The fire was called away at approx. 8:30 AM, July 12,” read a statement on Twitter from Naval Surface Forces. “160 Sailors were aboard at the time. Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of approx. 1000. 18 Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

    According to the San Diego Fire Department, several sailors are being treated for injuries. Local news outlets have reported explosions from the fire.

    Navy and local officials are battling the fire on the big-deck amphib, service officials confirmed to USNI News on Sunday.

    The amphib is at the naval base’s Pier 2 with two Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDG-51) and is adjacent to a crew berthing barge, according to a video feed from local news station CBS 8.

    Images from webcams and official accounts on social media show dark clouds of smoke billowing from the big-deck amphib and shrouding the pier as ladder trucks and firefighters attack the blaze.

    Prior to arriving in San Diego in 2018, Bonhomme Richard spent six years in Japan as part of the U.S. Forward Deployed Naval Force.
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    UPDATE: Looks like 21 injured, no deaths reported

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    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    San Diego news. Video below of smoke from a distance but close enough to clearly hear a loud explosion on board during the fire at 0:52. Twenty years old and in for a refit on a Sunday with no, or minimal, fire trained crew aboard. Not good at getting this controlled and after 6 hours. What fate awaits the ship?

    https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/lo...e-2d393f942467

    Last edited by tbm3fan; 13 Jul 20, at 00:11.

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    I see, stripping of systems and miscellaneous parts and a one way ticket to Brownsville and one of the few steam powered ships in the fleet will ride into the sunset. Firefighters basically abandoned ship to let it burn out. I hope Nassco has good insurance?

    Congress was already pushing for allocation of funds for LHA 9. I predict those funds are now a lock.

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Been burning for approximately eight hours now. Live cam.
    https://www.cbs8.com/mobile/article/...e-2d393f942467

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    San Diego fire fighters have now pulled out of the fire. Apparently too difficult to access so it will be let to burn itself out over the next few days. The Navy is now in discussion with San Diego concerning issues regarding smoke.

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    Live video from helicopter:
    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1djGXoyEvgBKZ

    half hour ago:
    "ALERT: Shelter in Place. All non-first responding personnel on NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO in Sector A (Wet-side; north of Pier 5) are directed to shelter-in-place until further notice."
    .
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    .

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    Fire has made it up into the Island. She is going to be toast in more ways than one.

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    21 injured in fire aboard ship at Naval Base San Diego

    The Associated Press
    July 13, 2020, 7:52 AM

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Firefighters on land, in the air and on the water on Monday were still battling a blaze on a Navy ship that injured at least 21 people and sent smoke billowing over San Diego.

    The fire began Sunday morning in a vehicle storage area aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, who said 17 sailors and four others, including firefighters, were treated at hospitals for smoke inhalation or other minor injuries.

    It was proving to be a stubborn blaze to put out, requiring helicopters dumping water from above, firefighting vessels shooting seawater and fire trucks pounding water through hoses from the dock. Sobeck told the San Diego Union-Tribune that there was no ordnance on board, and while the ship holds a million gallons of fuel, that is “well below” any heat source.

    About 160 sailors and officers were on board when an explosion and flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke from the 840-foot (255-meter) amphibious assault vessel, which has been docked at Naval Base San Diego and was undergoing routine maintenance. That’s far fewer than the thousand typically on the ship when it’s on active duty, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

    Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, told the Union-Tribune that the Navy thinks the fire began somewhere in a lower cargo hold where marine equipment and vehicles are stored. The fire was not a fueled by fuel oil, hazardous materials or electrical causes, Sobeck told the newspaper. It was fueled by paper, cloth, rags or other materials in a standard fire. He said he is not concerned about the air quality or toxicity around the fire. The explosion was probably caused by a change in air pressure, he told the Union-Tribune.

    All crew members were accounted for, said Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.


    “We are grateful for the quick and immediate response of local, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard,” Gilday said in a statement.

    The 23-year-old ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles. Because of its age, a fire could be particularly destructive, especially if it reached the engine room and other tight spaces with machinery, said Lawrence B. Brennan, a professor of admiralty and international maritime law at Fordham University in New York.

    “The heat of a fire of this nature can warp the steel, and that can be a major problem for any ship,” said Brennan. “On an older ship, it’s even more of a problem.”

    Two other docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, were moved to berths away from the fire, officials said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post

    Congress was already pushing for allocation of funds for LHA 9. I predict those funds are now a lock.
    Simultaneously, the Marines are developing doctrine moving away from the large deck amphibians. Will the political/industrial pipeline for a new LHA get a push, or do the dollars swing towards the smaller connectors called for by the new Marine thinking?

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    An unforgivable mess. Many careers should be ended. Biggest American dockside mess since the Normandy. This one is more egregious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    An unforgivable mess. Many careers should be ended. Biggest American dockside mess since the Normandy. This one is more egregious.
    This one comes pretty darn close. But at least Connie was able to be completed and serve for decades

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    This one comes pretty darn close. But at least Connie was able to be completed and serve for decades

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    I was on the Connie in the early '80s. The Forecastle desk was pretty badly warped from the fire and never repaired. Somehow I ended up there once and didn't even know about the fire until later.

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