(FiveNation.com)- A Navy probe has just revealed that crew members, commanders, and others are responsible for “sweeping failures” that caused an arson fire in July 2020 that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. The investigation concluded that the massive five-day blaze that took place in San Diego was completely preventable, and unacceptable.
One sailor has already been charged with setting the fire, according to the 400-plus-page report, which was seen by The Associated Press. The report also lists some three dozen sailors and officers whose failures both indirectly and directly led to the loss of the ship.
Investigators concluded that problems and lapses in coordination, training, communication, the maintenance of equipment, and general control and command resulted in the fire sweeping across the ship more quickly than it should have done.
Investigators said that there was an “inadequately prepared crew” whose fire response was “ineffective.” Commanders were blamed for their bad oversight, and the firefighting foam on board the ship apparently wasn’t even used because it had not been properly maintained and members of the crew didn’t know how it should be used.
On Tuesday, U.S. Navy officials said that while crews often consistently meet the firefighting standards expected of them in training, those skills often drop off and crewmembers forget what they need to do once the ships move into a maintenance period. At the time the fire started, the USS Bonhomme Richard was undergoing maintenance work.
The shocking report found that crew members didn’t even ring the bells to alert other sailors to the presence of a fire until 10 minutes after they discovered it – and it was these crucial ten minutes that meant sailors didn’t put on their fire gear quickly enough and couldn’t put the fire out.
It looks like the U.S. Navy is going to have to implement stricter, more regular fire training…