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Thread: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

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    Default USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    The press conferences have gone from "it will definitely sail again" to "we hope to save the ship." To a layman like me, it sure looks like a total loss: Twitter. I'd live to hear the opinions from our resident sailors.

    Greg
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    We have a couple over qualified experts here. I'll venture to guess those hulls are indestructible however the entire contents are not salvageable so in other words it's scrap.

    My question is how on GGE does the ship not have both fire sensors that gives plenty of warning and massive primary secondary and tertiary fire suppression systems?

    WTAF happened?
    Last edited by Too Tall; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:09 PM.

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    My question is how on GGE does the ship not have both fire sensors that gives plenty of warning and massive primary secondary and tertiary fire suppression systems?

    WTAF happened?
    I'm sorry, but the answers are classified.

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    We have a couple over qualified experts here. I'll venture to guess those hulls are indestructible however the entire contents are not salvageable so in other words it's scrap.

    My question is how on GGE does the ship not have both fire sensors that gives plenty of warning and massive primary secondary and tertiary fire suppression systems?

    WTAF happened?
    According to news reports that I’ve heard the fire sensors/suppression systems were turned off during the maintenance/repairs of the ship. Somebody is going to be fired.
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Thompson View Post
    According to news reports that I’ve heard the fire sensors/suppression systems were turned off during the maintenance/repairs of the ship. Somebody is going to be fired.
    'Cause "what could go wrong".

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    It is a risk you take when you enter a maintenance period. Cables, hoses, and other lines foul the hatches so you can't isolate compartments in the case of a fire. That allows the fire to spread with no containment. The ship had a Halon system but it was shut off as well as smoke and flame detectors. The smoky and dusty overhaul environment makes the alarms go off all the time. Contributing to this was the fact it happened on a Sunday with only a duty section onboard so even if the fire was detected early, there is little chance of containing a larger fire or one with a lot of fuel.

    I predict that the Navy will do a full investigation and then use it in a SINKEX where all the tanks are pumped out, filled with seawater, and then it will be towed out to sea and used for target practice to sink it.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    What a mess. Sorry to see what I believe is the last amphibious assault ship to be commissioned.
    That rascal is 844'!!!!
    I've got a soft spot for war horses.

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    I envision the end result of this fire to be similar to the USS Miami fire at Portsmouth, NH in 2012. The ship will be declared damaged beyond economical repair and (as bigbill noted) sunk as a target. Amazing that a national asset worth ~$1B could be lost so quickly.

    Greg
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    I read inside temps were getting around 1600 degrees F. and that could weaken some steel structures inside the hull. I suspect, as mentioned above, that it won't be worth economical salvage and will end up going to target practice, alas. Always a sad fate for an honorable ship.
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    I can say with almost certainty that this would not have happened if the ship had been at sea. The worst shipboard fires since WW2 have been the Oriskany, Forrestal, Bonefish, and Enterprise. I'm only counting the ones that happened while the ship was underway. The Bonefish was a diesel-electric submarine that caught fire killing three crewmembers. The submarine was scrapped. The three carriers were repaired and returned to service. The main difference being the ability to isolate the burning compartments. Once the oxygen is consumed, the fire goes out. I was part of an experimental submarine deployment where we maintained 16% Oxygen instead of the 18-18.5% that is typical. The smokers had a bad time because their cigarettes wouldn't stay lit and their lighters would only make a small blue flame. The idea was that a fire would go out more quickly. If nothing else, I was an aerobic god upon return. In the end it wasn't worth it.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    The smokers had a bad time because their cigarettes wouldn't stay lit and their lighters would only make a small blue flame.
    I remember the first time I read that smoking was permitted on submarines. It was probably in elementary school nearly 50 years ago, and the revelation came from a National Geographic article about the USS Triton's submerged global circumnavigation in 1960. Even as a young kid during the era when smoking was commonplace, I was shocked that people would smoke in a space as tightly packed as a submarine.

    Greg
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    The majority of my work involves ships, mostly commercial but some naval. Here's some info and pics from one of the daily e-mail newsletters I get:

    "Major Fire" Still Burning Aboard USS Bonhomme Richard
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    While in school, we used to get taken on field trips to both the navy yard in Portsmouth and the naval base in Norfolk to see this or that ship. A couple things I remember were seeing a tool box full of "non-sparking" tools, explanation that no welding was allowed when they were removing paint because paint dust was flammable, that static could build up and cause an explosion, and that bicycles/tricycles were used because sparkplugs were dangerous.

    Just seemed like the number of things that could go wrong once the ship was in port and being refitted/repaired was pretty high. I thought the idea of dust being flammable was amazing (created some momentary obsessions my mother quickly put to rest!) and when I told my grandfather (midwest farm boy become doctor) about it, he told me about explosions at grain elevators and sawmills caused by similar conditions.

    I also remember how freaking huge some of these ships are.
    Last edited by j44ke; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    I remember the first time I read that smoking was permitted on submarines. It was probably in elementary school nearly 50 years ago, and the revelation came from a National Geographic article about the USS Triton's submerged global circumnavigation in 1960. Even as a young kid during the era when smoking was commonplace, I was shocked that people would smoke in a space as tightly packed as a submarine.

    Greg
    No smoking on submarines was banned ten years ago. I hated the cigarette smoke, even after they confined smoking to two areas. It made the white paint turn yellow and there were ashtrays everywhere. Kind of like going to a VFW today. I saw a few fires, got burns and smoke inhalation from one, but they were all electrical. The worst thing that can happen on a ship is a fire, especially a submarine. The old joke was if the fire got bad enough, the flooding would put it out.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    I remember the first time I read that smoking was permitted on submarines. It was probably in elementary school nearly 50 years ago, and the revelation came from a National Geographic article about the USS Triton's submerged global circumnavigation in 1960. Even as a young kid during the era when smoking was commonplace, I was shocked that people would smoke in a space as tightly packed as a submarine.

    Greg
    I circumnavigated the earth 6 times in an hour one time. When you're just shy of 90 degrees north, it's easy.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    No smoking on submarines was banned ten years ago. I hated the cigarette smoke, even after they confined smoking to two areas. It made the white paint turn yellow and there were ashtrays everywhere. Kind of like going to a VFW today. I saw a few fires, got burns and smoke inhalation from one, but they were all electrical. The worst thing that can happen on a ship is a fire, especially a submarine. The old joke was if the fire got bad enough, the flooding would put it out.
    Flying and sailing have a lot in common. In both endeavors, fire, a hull breach, and loss of control are huge risks. Both fields attract similar personalities. I flew with two pilots who were former submariners. The nicotine stains and smoking residue were common problems too. Nicotine/smoke would clog aircraft pressurization outflow valves, requiring frequent maintenance attention. At the same time, mechanics would use the stains to help them spot pressurization leaks. The start of my flying career (1984) coincided with the first steps to stop smoking on aircraft. I don't think I could have started my career if smoking on aircraft continued!

    Greg
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I circumnavigated the earth 6 times in an hour one time. When you're just shy of 90 degrees north, it's easy.
    That puts you in a very rare club.

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    I heard there were sailors aboard today. While the ship was at 1500+ degrees. And helicopters were dumping huge quantities of water on it.

    Tip of the hat to those sailors.
     

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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    Flying and sailing have a lot in common. In both endeavors, fire, a hull breach, and loss of control are huge risks. Both fields attract similar personalities. I flew with two pilots who were former submariners. The nicotine stains and smoking residue were common problems too. Nicotine/smoke would clog aircraft pressurization outflow valves, requiring frequent maintenance attention. At the same time, mechanics would use the stains to help them spot pressurization leaks. The start of my flying career (1984) coincided with the first steps to stop smoking on aircraft. I don't think I could have started my career if smoking on aircraft continued!

    Greg
    In 1960, the nuclear submarine USS Sargo had a fire in the after torpedo room while loading oxygen pierside in Pearl Harbor. Because the fire was fed from an oxygen bank, the ship was moved off the pier and submerged with the aft hatch open to put out the fire. The sub was surfaced with the use of a floating crane and spent three months getting repaired. A sailor died but his actions were credited with saving the ship. Lockwood Hall, a 17 story dormitory for submarine sailors in Hawaii, was named for him.
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    Default Re: USS Bonhomme Richard Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    Flying and sailing have a lot in common. In both endeavors, fire, a hull breach, and loss of control are huge risks. Both fields attract similar personalities. I flew with two pilots who were former submariners. The nicotine stains and smoking residue were common problems too. Nicotine/smoke would clog aircraft pressurization outflow valves, requiring frequent maintenance attention. At the same time, mechanics would use the stains to help them spot pressurization leaks. The start of my flying career (1984) coincided with the first steps to stop smoking on aircraft. I don't think I could have started my career if smoking on aircraft continued!

    Greg
    I was a USAF aircraft mechanic. As the ‘new kid’ when I arrived at Hickam AFB in 1961, I was assigned to inspect and clean the aforementioned pressure relief valves, we called them black and white valves, on our C-118s. The black outflow valve was always thick with nicotine which was cleaned by hand with kerosene and a rag. I would be on a workstand underneath the aircraft reaching up with the kerosene soaked rag cleaning the valve. The nicotine-infused kerosene would run down my arm. Ah, fond memories.
     

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