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Thread: USS Bonhomme Richard

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default USS Bonhomme Richard

    I feel awful watching the USS Bonhomme Richard LHD 6 burn. In, I think it was, 2003, I was on a trip of the Vice President, Dick Cheney and went aboard the ship at Naval Base San Diego. In fact, I was whistled aboard on the quarter deck, and that is an honor and a wonderful Navy tradition.

    The VP gave a speech to the crew on the flight deck, after which, I had had unrestricted access, with a Lt. as my escort. The Navy knows how to take care of people, and we had lunch with the VP, the CO, and the XO. Had a tour of the ship which included the bridge, the well deck, the hangar deck and so on. They even assigned a sailor to carry my gear.

    I will never forget riding in the VP's 30 car motorcade and pulling up to the massive ships gangway. That was something.

    I would hate to see this beautiful warship have to be scrapped.
    Last edited by RedLED; 07-14-2020 at 12:02 AM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    My thoughts and prayers go to the 57 servicemen and civilians injured in the fire, and to those who are still battling it.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by ledbetter View Post
    My thoughts and prayers go to the 57 servicemen and civilians injured in the fire, and to those who are still battling it.
    Me too, I love the US Navy, and as a former fireman I wish all of these guys the best. What a nightmare!
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  4. #4

    Default USS Bonhomme Richard

    Seeing this has really hit home for me having served on her sister ship the BATAAN.

    I am very glad that from what I read, most of the injured have already been released from the hospital and hope they can get the fires out without more injuries.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Sos24 View Post
    Seeing this has really hit home for me having served on her sister ship the BATAAN.

    I am very glad that from what I read, most of the injured have already been released from the hospital and hope they can get the fires out without more injuries.
    How do you think the fire started?
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  6. #6

    Default USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLED View Post
    How do you think the fire started?
    It is hard to say, because there are so many things that can happen on a ship.

    But if I had to guess based on what I read and my experience, I would guess that the area might have been being used as a staging area for the contractors doing maintenance throughout the ship and someone doing welding in a space below did not properly follow procedures and caught something in the space above on fire. I donít know if that area had been completely offloaded, but there may have been various flammables nearby used for either the work being done and/or maintaining Marine vehicles that would normally be staged there. Also the deck area probably had some fuel/oil residue just from all the vehicles being there all the time. I also heard that at least one of the installed fire extinguishing systems was not operable.

    I know more than a few times during my career, shipyard workers caught a space on fire while doing hotwork in another space. On one occasion there were improperly stored flammables in the adjacent space. The space caught fire quickly but they were able to isolate it. On another occasion, welding being done in a space above a combat systems space caused sparks to fall on some charts and publications. The person that was suppose to make sure everything was moved or covered and watch with fire extinguisherjust in case was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, a Sailor was working in an adjacent space and responded quick enough when he smelled something that it didnít go anywhere.

    But this is pure speculation.
    Last edited by Sos24; 07-14-2020 at 06:24 PM.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    I am wondering if they can salvage the ship. If the can't that is a major loss to the navy's mission.

    Thank God no one was killed. A fire on a ship has to be one of the worst things to be involved with.
    Last edited by RedLED; 07-21-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Red, in my town in 1994 a tornadoe wiped out a shopping district. Local law, ems and fire personnel were perplexed at the devistation and were pretty much just standing around in a daze. At the time I worked for the street maintenance department and two of my coworkers were true heroes. I mean they jumped in and pulled out bodies like real proffesionals.
    Later I found out that both had spent time in the navy 20+ years apart from each other and both had been on a ship that caught fire at sea. It really gave me an appreciation for what that experience must have been like but also how thankful I was that they were there with us that day as everybody in public works was dispatched to help the cause.

    Later the town had a big celebration for the rescue, law and fire personnel who unfortunately had not really acted like heroes. No mention was made of my two coworkers who had probably saved more lives than the police, fire and rescue people all combined.

    So my hats off to the folks helping put out the fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard knowing that someday they will probably have the chance to help their community thanks to the experience of putting out a fire that surrounded them at least for a time. It was truely a life altering experience.
    John 3:16

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    The threat of fire on vessels is such a serious matter that all sailors receive fire fighting training when they join, before they ever board a ship.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Sounds like whoever was supposed to maintain the fire suppression system is going to be in trouble. I would also imagine the welder and their company will have hell to pay for this accident. I don't see how any welder can be allowed on a ship working without someone on fire watch without a fire extinguisher handy. I'm pretty sure that's an OSHA requirement. This is either gross negligence or sabotage. I don't buy that this was just an accident. Someone is definitely at fault.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    It will be interesting to see what the investigators turn up.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    Sounds like whoever was supposed to maintain the fire suppression system is going to be in trouble. I would also imagine the welder and their company will have hell to pay for this accident. I don't see how any welder can be allowed on a ship working without someone on fire watch without a fire extinguisher handy. I'm pretty sure that's an OSHA requirement. This is either gross negligence or sabotage. I don't buy that this was just an accident. Someone is definitely at fault.
    Agreed!! In my line of work (road construction) welders have fire watchers, sure. Usually the newest guy on the crew with the least experience who has a celphone in front of his face checking out youtubes or fakebook. I can't tell you how many times I've seen small grass fires below bridges where welders are tacking on the studs over beams that lock concrete slabs in place once it hardens. Of course the kid feels bad after it, or gets fired but it's an unfortunate reality that typically the best minds are not the fire watchers. They're too busy doing other stuff deemed "important".

    It's like in road construction often times the flagger is responsible for everybodys safety but the people flagging are not the sharpest knives in the drawer all too often.
    John 3:16

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    *Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Accidents don't just happen. They're most always caused by carelessness.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

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    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    The ship was nearing the end of it's refitting so I am wondering if all the heavy work that would involve welding was over? But, then again the entire thing is metal. It will be interesting to see exactly what started the fire.
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    *Flashaholic* Chauncey Gardiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLED View Post
    The ship was nearing the end of it's refitting so I am wondering if all the heavy work that would involve welding was over? But, then again the entire thing is metal. It will be interesting to see exactly what started the fire.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Well, I mean on something that big there is probably no end to welding things.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLED View Post
    The threat of fire on vessels is such a serious matter that all sailors receive fire fighting training when they join, before they ever board a ship.
    Exactly. All shipís crew is supposed to go through firefighting training annually, as well as flooding and first aid. Anytime there is an emergency on a ship it is enough to get the adrenaline pumping and often they canít rely on back-up .

    As long as the BONHOMME RICHARD is afloat, it can most likely be repaired and probably will be due to the high demand of the platform. The big question will be how long it will take to repair.

  18. #18

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    Agreed!! In my line of work (road construction) welders have fire watchers, sure. Usually the newest guy on the crew with the least experience who has a celphone in front of his face checking out youtubes or fakebook. I can't tell you how many times I've seen small grass fires below bridges where welders are tacking on the studs over beams that lock concrete slabs in place once it hardens. Of course the kid feels bad after it, or gets fired but it's an unfortunate reality that typically the best minds are not the fire watchers. They're too busy doing other stuff deemed "important".

    It's like in road construction often times the flagger is responsible for everybodys safety but the people flagging are not the sharpest knives in the drawer all too often.
    Welders are suppose to have a fire watch on Navy shipís too. They are usually either shipyard workers/contractors or really junior sailors. Like you said, too often they are not concentrating on the job as well as they should be.

  19. #19

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    If the welder was working for a government contractor and not in the navy themselves, they would have at least had to be trained in something like ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) or the union to be on a prevailing wage government job (certified apprentice or journeyman). That would mean the welder and any fire watch person at minimum would have to have decent grades in school just to get that far in their employment. Probably would have OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 training too. ABC has a three strikes and you're out policy. If you get three employers who fill out a form saying they would not rehire you whether or not you are fired or laid off, you are booted out of the apprenticeship program and can't work anymore. I'm not saying you couldn't have an idiot working on a government job to make these mistakes, but it is less likely knowing how many competent people they had to beat out to get the job to begin with. I have been on jobs with some A.O. Reed welders who had no problem with welding over my head and catching cardboard boxes on fire nearby or catching the side of the 125 freeway in La Mesa on fire so I can't rule out incompetence in this case, but I would hope the Navy would have higher standards for people working on their ships.

  20. #20

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    If the welder was working for a government contractor and not in the navy themselves, they would have at least had to be trained in something like ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) or the union to be on a prevailing wage government job (certified apprentice or journeyman). That would mean the welder and any fire watch person at minimum would have to have decent grades in school just to get that far in their employment. Probably would have OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 training too. ABC has a three strikes and you're out policy. If you get three employers who fill out a form saying they would not rehire you whether or not you are fired or laid off, you are booted out of the apprenticeship program and can't work anymore. I'm not saying you couldn't have an idiot working on a government job to make these mistakes, but it is less likely knowing how many competent people they had to beat out to get the job to begin with. I have been on jobs with some A.O. Reed welders who had no problem with welding over my head and catching cardboard boxes on fire nearby or catching the side of the 125 freeway in La Mesa on fire so I can't rule out incompetence in this case, but I would hope the Navy would have higher standards for people working on their ships.
    That may be your experience, but from someone who has personally had to deal with civilian shipyard workers I can tell you that frequently they do not get fired, partially because of not having enough workers as is. I can remember being onboard 3 different ships that had fires from shipyard welding.

    I can also give numerous other examples of shipyard worker incompetence from a ship that I was stationed on during the building process. It was drastically delayed at one point because the entire superior structure had to be replaced due to fire. My stateroom had a heater that was wired into the lamp dimmer switch. Then issues such as electrical cabinet that couldnít be opened due to structural steel beam in way, fire hatch couldnít close because valve stem and handle in way, main gun breach improperly installed, etc. A Sailor and shipyard worker almost died because of getting bends form a pressure test and the shipyard contracted ambulance standing by wasnít associated with hospital with decompression chamber available. Fortunately the ship crew knew the correct hospital and got ambulance to go there. The Navy ended up taking possession of the ship with several minor issues not being fixed and just having ship personnel fix them.

  21. #21

    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    A long time ago a supervisor was listening to me whine about how contractors sometimes get by with shoddy work while being fully compensated and as an inspector who knows it was shoddy it's just dawg gone aggrevating.

    He says "well what would you prefer?" I said I wanted inspect naval vessels. If it aint built right people die.

    After reading post 20 I'm glad I never got that job. Yikes!!


    One day on a bridge project an environmental dude and I were walking under a bridge with welders above us. We noticed nearby a small grass fire and luckily a bunch of sand nearby. We scooped up a bunch of sand in our hard hats and tossed it on the fire, extinguishing it. Suddenly this young guy comes running down the scafold stairs workers use to get up top. "oh snap, oh snap" he was yelling as he frantically ran toward us as we put out the fire.
    Turns out he was a union newb who had passed out in the heat up on the bridge deck the day before so they told him to stay under the bridge in the shade and watch for fire. Last I heard the guy was working at a famous sandwich shoppe.
    John 3:16

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard

    Bet heís burning the buns😁
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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