Firefighting teams briefly removed from Bonhomme Richard amid ‘shift in the ship’s list’


Firefighting teams were briefly removed from the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard in San Diego early Thursday morning due to safety concerns and “an initial shift in the ship’s list,” according to the Navy.

The Navy said at 2:30 a.m. Thursday that the ship and pier were cleared of personnel and that the situation was being monitored “as the ship settles.” But it didn’t take long for firefighting teams to board the ship again.

Firefighting teams returned to the ship to continue firefighting efforts less than an hour after they evacuated, the Bonhomme Richard Media Operations Center told Navy Times.

The Bonhomme Richard media center declined to clarify or disclose details related to the cause of the list.

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.

— Naval Surface Forces (@SurfaceWarriors) July 16, 2020

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.

— Naval Surface Forces (@SurfaceWarriors) July 16, 2020

Sailors first reported the fire at about 8:30 a.m. PDT Sunday, according to the Navy. Firefighting efforts have continued since then and have involved personnel from Naval Base San Diego and the City of San Diego Fire Department, among others.

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Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 started conducting helicopter water bucket aerial firefighting operations early Monday, and had executed more than 1,500 helicopter water bucket drops as of Wednesday morning, the Navy said.

The Navy said a total of 40 sailors, along with 23 civilians, have been treated for “minor injuries” due to the fire such as heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. No personnel are currently hospitalized for their injuries, and the Navy said Tuesday all who had been hospitalized were released.

Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Ryan Siner, left, and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Jeremy Phillips utilize a Bambi bucket in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter to provide aerial firefighting support to Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on July 14, 2020, in San Diego. (MC1 Patrick W. Menah Jr./Navy)

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