A Navy report obtained by the Associated Press found widespread and “repeated failures” by commanders and crew members led to the aggravation of a five-day fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. The more than 400-page report blames sweeping negligence in proper emergency training, equipment maintenance, communication, and more on the ship’s near-total destruction. Only one man, a disgruntled Navy SEAL reject named Ryan Sawyer Mays, has been charged with setting the July 2020 blaze.
The extent of the damage was due to “ineffective fire response” and was preventable, the report said. The inadequate reaction was in part fueled by the crew’s lack of knowledge on how to deploy the main firefighting foam system. Like much of the rest of the ship’s equipment, it had not been adequately maintained for emergency use. Crew members also failed to ring an alarm for 10 minutes after the fire was found. In total, 17 people were slammed for “directly” contributing to the loss of the ship, including its three top officers.