US Navy amphibious assault ship on Fire in San Diego

LHD-1 USS Wasp arrives in Halifax in 2010.

At approximately 8:30 on July 12, a fire was discovered aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego. Approximately 160 Sailors were aboard at the time. USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and normally has a crew size of approximately 1000.

the fire is believed to have started on one of the vehicle storage decks and spread to the well Deck. the ship is designed for amphibious assault, and features a flood-able space at the rear for launching landing craft and has 2 vehicle decks with direct access to the well deck.

throughout the day, the fire spread, into the the hanger deck, and by last night into the island, destroying the bridge area and causing the forward mast to collapse on deck. the ship developed a 3 degree list to starboard.

400 firefighters have been working on board, assisted by 5 tugboats fire monitors, and helicopters with Bambi Buckets.

As of this morning,6:30 a.m. Pacific time, firefighting teams continue operations on board, 57 personnel, 34 USNavy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

US Navy Officials are optimistic the ship can be saved, however the extent of the fire may mean the ship is a total loss.

this post will be updated.

UPDATE 22:50AST: as of 3:30 p.m. Pacific time July 13, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard. 59 personnel, 36 U.S. Navy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized.

Several commentators are further suggesting the heat stress on the ship from the still burning fires will result in the ship being declared a loss. replacement cost for the ship would be in excess of 1.5 billion dollars.

Update July 14 11:50AST: Still Burning. We have some images of damage, and it looks severe.

UPDATE July 16:
06:00 a.m. Pacific time July 15, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), 63 personnel, 40 Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE has conducted more than 1,500 helicopter water bucket drops, which is cooling the super structure and flight deck enabling fire crews to get onboard internally to fight the fire.

The fire is now thought to be mostly under control, with teams chasing hot spots. Apparently the superstructure was constructed from Aluminum, which is why the Island was able to burn through – the Heat melted the metal.

at 2:30 am pst, the USN Surface Warriors twitter account tweeted that “Out of an abundance of caution the pier and ship were cleared of personnel due to an initial shift in the ship’s list. Personnel are now pier side. ” there have been no further updates.

the 6 am update indicates that fire teams are back on board. the ship has a noticeable list towards the pier, no smoke is visible, and external water application has ceased.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *