Bonhomme Richard LHD 6

Discussion in 'Veterans' started by ChaZam, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Didn't know which forum to put this in so if it needs moved @Jay feel free to do so...
    Having spent some time back in my younger days aboard the USS Constellation I became aware that some small fires were commonplace aboard a ship. Of course it was always quite unsettling when that happened in the middle of the ocean, Hey there was no way out of there for 5000 + if they couldn't contain it.

    So the fire on LHD 6 has captivated my interest and concern from the onset. Luckily it didn't have a large contingent of people onboard at the time this fire broke out so injuries etc have been quite low to this point. Of course with a million gallons of fuel onboard if the blaze is not contained and extinguished the danger to the harbor area is a grave concern. It does have a list due to the massive amounts of water dumped and pumped onto it combatting the blaze so additional pumping is ongoing trying to keep it stable since capsizing is an outcome they want to avoid at all costs too. I'm concerned that this ship might not be salvageable but only time will tell. Prayers for all those tasked with battling this blazing inferno.
  2. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Here's some pictures of the damage. Appears to be every bit as bad as I was expecting due to the length of time it was on fire and the temps that were being reported. WOWSER
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  3. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
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  4. draftingmonkey

    draftingmonkey G&G Evangelist

    Until the Navy has time to do a detailed damage assessment it is still up in the air. The cost to replace is estimated at $4B (probably double that with typical contractor overruns to fund sticky palms in congress). Against saving would be cost near that $4B and its age, 22 years.
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  5. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    Having worked on BHR's sister ships, I have an idea how this happened. The fire started on the third deck, which is the upper vehicle deck , which is open all the way to the hangar deck via a long vehicle ramp. During these repair availability periods, both the vehicle deck and the hangar deck are crowded with pallets and cardboard boxes full of.... stuff. Think everything that might be on a ship pulled out and stored in big boxes, including furniture and mattresses, also pallets full of five gallon buckets full of flammable primer, and non-skid deck coatings for the flight deck, vehicle decks and hangar deck.
    Fire starts as something small, and as is typical of today's navy housekeeping is haphazard, so there's plenty of small combustibles to add to it, next thing you know, whoosh. And there were probably access cuts in the deck above the hangar space so it just kept spreading to the upper passageways and beyond.

    A big problem is housekeeping: there's trash everywhere: used tyvek suits, rags, and dirt and dust contaminated with oil. It's typically stashed everywhere. It's a disgrace.
    This was entirely avoidable.
    Other factors: sailors don't live onboard anymore, the taxpayer pays for condos and apartments for them so they don't treat the ship like their home.
    A couple of major defense contractors I know but won't say their name.. are allowed to run the show during these maintenance periods, and aren't held to their responsibilities. Money talks you know...
    I live this every day. I have grown to hate this business.
  6. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Exactly, and then there is all of the mega millions of dollars worth of parts/pieces, man hours, etc that have already been pumped into upgrading it that a great part of which would likely have to all over again. If I was a betting man I would place my bet on the Bonhomme Richard winding up in the hands of a ship breaker...
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  7. Get Out

    Get Out G&G Evangelist

    They need to run it through the recycler and begin building a new one.
  8. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    They can't even scrap her until hey go through the hulk and remove all the ecologically unsound materials in her. Two years minimum from the time they declare her a total loss.
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  9. redcaddy51

    redcaddy51 G&G Evangelist

    30 years in the ship repair / damage control business tells me the Bonnie Dick is dead.

    I transferred to the fleet retired list in'94, at that time, sailors still lived aboard during Cycle overhauls, rotating thru berthing barges, at the same pier, as shipboard spaces were refit. (heads, galleys and berthing spaces) Ships company (not on leave or away training) was responsible for normal clean up, sweepers 4 X a day, Damage control gear maintenance and water tight integrity. (No outsourcing)

    All hot work was coordinated from a central location and "fire watch" personnel were assigned, in rotation, to all "hot work" locations, from 30 min. prior to commencement of any work that could cause a fire, (clean and inspect) until 30 min. after cessation of such work. (clean and inspect again)

    Obviously, things have changed,

    In my years before the mast, every ship was walked and inspected for material condition / cleanliness, every day, after morning quarters and prior to 8 o'clock reports each evening, usually by the duty section chief, or divisional LPO (leading petty officer.)

    If you wern't working in your rate, testing- repairing your assigned gear, you were standing by for space inspection, getting ready for inspection or cleaning house. ("if you got time to lean, you got time to clean" was a common phrase)

    This schedule, was particularly important during overhaul, as there were lots of non crew personnel aboard. 7-24. (no skin in the game)

    Not to write a tome, all of us who go down to the sea in ships, will feel the loss.

    I'm sure the "new Navy" has relaxed some of the traditions I lived with, however, the after action reports and lessons learned might bring back a few.

    The old sheepdog
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  10. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

  11. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist

    Hard to get my head around why a sailor would try to destroy his ship. With no draft, that class of person should never make it into the military.
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  12. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Well all you have to do is recall the wack-a-doodle muslim doctor at Ft. Hood and that deserter Bergdahl just to name a few. Some service members are not patriots...
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  13. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    One of the few times I was ever nervous aboard ship in port was when I was on the India run and the Mate ordered the fire hoses removed from the deck and exterior house fire stations and the stations in the tweendecks in the hatches and locked up. We also had to remove the brass plugs from the sounding pipes. The reason for this was the stevedores would steal anything made of brass or bronze they could get their hands on and sell it.

    Fire hoses aren't cheap, and the nozzles cost a fortune. But if a fire breaks out and there aren't any hoses on the fire stations, precious time is lost while the fire party goes to the locker and brings the hoses to the fire station, hooks them up, and only then starts fighting the fire.

    We also NEVER, and I mean never, shut down the ship's CO2 system. Not even when the ship was in the yard for overhaul, not even when Kidde came down to service the system. I'll grant you that the Kidde CO2 system is World War II era technology, as was the photoelectric smoke detector in every ship I served in -- but they worked. The only problem with the detector was the cabinet was located on the bridge. It's fine when the ship is underway, but in port the bridge is deserted; the only time anyone goes there is at the change of watch, to write up the deck log. But when you're working cargo, you're on deck and if smoke comes out of a hatch, you'll see it.

    The Bonhomme Richard's halon system is a couple of generations newer technology than what I sailed with. It's much more efficient and much longer persisting than CO2. But that does no good if the system is shut down, as Bonnie Dick's was. Arson or spontaneous combustion, that is a major reason the fire got out of control.

    I think we are going to see some serious changes in in-port/in-overhaul fire protection protocols come out of this. Even so, the phrase "Closing the barn door after the horse has bolted" is very much on point.
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  14. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Here's another update. It will still be quite awhile before they determine or announce whether they refit this ship or whether it is decommissioned and scrapped. Regardless of when that decision is made a huge amount of stuff needs to be sorted and removed throughout the ship. My 2 cents says it will be decommissioned and later scrapped. Just my guess though.
  15. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I am thinking so also. The heat destroys the tinsel strength in the structure and sides. Be too costly and unsafe to repair.
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