USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD6)

Fire Update

UPDATE 24: Statement from Rear Admiral Philip E. Sobeck Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Three 

 

After four days of firefighting, all known fires have been extinguished aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). 
 
Our fire teams are investigating every space to verify the absence of fire. Until every space is checked and there are no active fires we will not be able to commence any official investigations. 
 
We did not know the origin of the fire. We do not know the extent of the damage. It is too early to make any predictions or promises of what the future of the ship will be. 
 
We cannot make any conclusions, until the investigation is complete.
 
What we do know is that brave Sailors from commands all across San Diego worked tirelessly alongside Federal Firefighters to get this fire extinguished and I want to thank them for their efforts. This was a Navy team effort. We had support from the air and sea. Three helicopter squadrons conducted more than 1,500 water bucket drops, fighting the fire and cooling the super structure and flight deck enabling fire crews to get onboard to fight the fire. Tugs also provided firefighting support from the waterline, cooling the ship’s hull. 
 
We had 63 personnel, 40 U.S. Navy Sailors and 23 civilians, treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. We have no personnel hospitalized. 
 
The Navy continues to work together with regulators, county and state in protecting our environment and preparing to address the community’s concerns as we move forward to the next phase. I’d like to thank our partners from state and county, the U.S. Coast Guard, and all agencies for continued support. 
 
--END STATEMENT--

UPDATE 23: As of 06:00 a.m. Pacific time July 16, firefighting teams are on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) continuing operations. The total personnel treated for minor injuries remains 63, 40 Sailors and 23 civilians. Will continue to provide updates via our social media platforms.
UPDATE 22: At 10:50 p.m. Pacific time July 15,​ 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. We will continue to monitor as the ship settles.
UPDATE 21: We are continuing to engage in firefighting efforts and will continue to provide updates via our social media platforms. There are currently no scheduled press conferences for the rest of today.
UPDATE 20: As of 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.
UPDATE 19: USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Sailors, the brave group of firefighters from waterfront commands throughout the region, and Federal Fire Department San Diego appreciate the incredible support and generosity shown by San Diego and our strong Navy family.

At this time, the Navy is assisting Bonhomme Richard Sailors affected by the fire with all essential items. If you are considering making a donation, please be aware of scams and unofficial sites.

NCIS urges the DON family and community members to remain vigilant of fraudulent GoFundMe pages and other fraudulent charities soliciting for donations in response to the fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).

Please report tips to NCIS using the NCIS Tips app or at your local NCIS office. Contact information for local NCIS offices may be found at: www.ncis.navy.mil.


UPDATE 18: July 14 - Press Conference Opening Statement by Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck. 

**Start Statement** "Good morning. My name is Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck, and I am the Expeditionary Strike Group THREE commander. I’d like to start by thanking the people of San Diego, National City, Coronado, and all the other communities in San Diego County for their continued support. For more than 48 hours brave Sailors from commands all across San Diego have been working tirelessly alongside Federal Fire San Diego to get this fire under control and I want to thank them for their efforts. I want to provide you with some updates on the progress we have made: First, we have investigated the four main engineering spaces and found no major damage. There is no threat to the fuel tanks, which is well-below any active fires or heat sources. The ship is stable and the structure is safe. We still have an active fire, which we are combatting from both within and outside the ship from multiple access points. HSC 3 helicopters have conducted more than 1,000 helicopter water bucket drops, which is cooling the super structure and flight deck enabling fire crews to get onboard internally to fight the fire. Tugs are also provide firefighting support from the waterline. I’m proud of the toughness of the Sailors and Federal Firefighters for making this significant progress possible. At this time there are 61 personnel, 38 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. Going forward, the Navy will do a thorough investigation of the incident to include assessing the cause of the fire and damage to the ship, but right now our focus remains on putting out the fire and keeping people safe. I’d like to also thank our partners from state and county as well as the Coast Guard for monitoring the potential impacts to the environment. As we continue to fight the fire, we remain cognizant of environmental concerns regarding the water and air quality. We recommend residents follow county advisories for safety out of an abundance of caution. Thank you again for your being here and we are now ready to take your question." **End Statement**


UPDATE 17: Please find the updated imagery at the DVIDs links. Please note there are two links. Link 1 and Link 2

We will be sharing updates about the ongoing firefighting at our 11:00 PST press conference, which will be at Anchors Catering and Conference Center and live streamed on the Surface Warriors Facebook Page. 


UPDATE 16: Those attending the press conference in person, please do NOT use the address provided in your GPS apps for the location. Please search Anchors Catering and Conference Center for the correct location. Attached is a map depicting the correct location.
UPDATE 15: The 11 a.m. press conference will be live streamed on the Surface Warriors facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors/​
UPDATE 14: In the past 48 hours, Federal Fire Department San Diego and U.S. Navy Sailors have conducted numerous firefighting operations, making significant progress with the help of aerial firefighting operations conducted by U.S. Navy helicopters. Crews from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 will continue efforts throughout the night.
UPDATE 13: As of 3:30 p.m. Pacific time July 13, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)​. 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.
UPDATE 12: Below is a statement from Cmdr. Chris Wright, Response Department Head, Coast Guard Sector San Diego.

**Begin Statement**

"While the United States Navy continues to effect response actions to quell the fire aboard the USS BONHOMME RICHARD, the United States Coast Guard continues to assess environmental sensitivities and has contracted an Oil Spill Response Organization to preemptively deploy protective boom to guard against any potential environmental concerns. A one-nautical mile safety zone has been established to ensure the safety of the maritime public. Additionally, a one-nautical mile temporary flight-restriction zone from surface to 3,000 feet altitude has been established to maintain the safety of all firefighting aircraft. Neighboring marinas are also currently being advised to utilize protective safety measures. The safety of first responders, protection of the marine environment and the uninterrupted flow of commerce remain the highest concerns to the Coast Guard. Responders will continue to monitor and assess potential environmental concerns and adjust response actions to ensure the safety and security of the maritime public and the marine environment."

**End Statement**


UPDATE 11: As of 6:30 a.m. Pacific time, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), 57 personnel, both U.S. Navy Sailors and civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Of those, 5 remain hospitalized for observation and are currently in stable condition.
UPDATE 10: As of 3:30 a.m. Pacific time, firefighting teams continue operations continue on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) in addition to aerial firefighting operations that commenced via helicopter water bucket at 10:30 p.m. PST with two helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE. There are 5 Sailors admitted to local hospitals for observation. All are in stable condition.
UPDATE 9: As of 2224 PST, there are 15 personnel (13 Sailors and two Federal Fire firefighters) admitted to local hospitals. All are currently in stable condition.
UPDATE 8: As of 2300 PST, defensive operations continue on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Additionally, aerial firefighting operations commenced via helicopter water bucket at 2230 (PST) with two helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE.
UPDATE 7: As of 2100 PST, there are 16 personnel (15 Sailors, one Federal Fire firefighter) admitted to local hospitals. All are currently in stable condition. The firefighting efforts are on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) are ongoing. Further updates will be provided as they become available.
UPDATE 6: Federal Fire San Diego is the on-scene lead for firefighting efforts on Naval Base San Diego combatting the fire on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).

  “Currently there are two firefighting teams fighting the fire aboard the ship,” said Federal Fire San Diego Division Chief Rob Bondurant. “Federal Fire is rotating their crews aboard the ship with U.S. Navy firefighting crews from the waterfront to fight the fire in order to, find the seat of the fire and extinguish it. Also, Navy Region Southwest tugs are also continuously combatting the fire from the bay”

The origin of the fire is still unknown and is pending investigation.


UPDATE 5: At approximately 1:00 p.m., USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) shifted berths to a pier further away from the fire. USS RUSSELL (DDG-59) moved approximately 30 minutes later. Seventeen Sailors and four civilians are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital. All inport ships have been contacted and directed to provide fire parties to possibly assist with firefighting efforts.
UPDATE 4: At approximately 8:30 on July 12, a fire was called away 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 has a crew size of approximately 1000. Eighteen Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Local, base and shipboard firefighters are responding to the fire. More information to follow.
UPDATE 3: The fire was called away at approximately 8:30 this morning, July 12. Approximately 160 Sailors were aboard at the time. USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of approximately 1000. Eighteen Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
UPDATE 2: Local, base and shipboard firefighters are responding to a fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) located on Naval Base San Diego. Initially, eleven Sailors have been transported to the hospital for minor injuries. The entire crew is off the ship and all are accounted. More information to follow.
UPDATE 1: Local, base, and shipboard firefighting teams are responding to a fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) located on Naval Base San Diego. More information to follow.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For BHR site, click here. See BHR Firefighting photos on Flickr.​​​

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