MH-60 Sea Hawk Helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 have been working throughout the day and night in an ongoing effort to save the USS Bonhomme Richard after a reported explosion below decks ignited a fire that has now engulfed several sections below decks on the amphibious assault ship.
The fire started on the morning of July 12, as the ship was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego and has continued to burn for over 24 hours. The Navy confirmed that 57 people were injured in the initial incident and have been treated or taken to area hospitals for treatment. Base and shipboard firefighters responded to the initial fire that has now expanded into firefighting efforts that involve 400 people on the ship according to the Navy, along with federal assets that are fighting the fire from multiple angles that include water-based assets and helicopters.
Aerial firefighting efforts began at 10:30 PM PST and have continued throughout the night and continue as of publication. Aerial firefighting efforts are centered around keeping the external surfaces of the USS Bonhomme Richard cool using Bambi Buckets on long lines while firefighting efforts from the water and dockside also continue to cool the external surfaces of the ship.