Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

USS San Diego among many eyeballed for lax fire safety

Maienschein gets $5500 from Chevron. Atkins $210K.

Boats we lost in the fire: USS Bonhomme Richard in happier times.
Boats we lost in the fire: USS Bonhomme Richard in happier times.

Fire in the hold

A report to Congress by the United States Government Accountability Office in the wake of the July 2020 fire that devastated the USS Bonhomme Richard has found that when it comes to extinguishing construction fires aboard its ships, the Navy is woefully understaffed, employs a mishmash of firefighting strategies, and has conducted no system-wide analysis of the problem. “U.S. Navy ships undergoing maintenance face a high risk of fire, in part because repairs can involve sparks or welding in confined areas with flammable material. Navy organizations collect and analyze lessons learned from fires through a number of processes.

However, the Navy does not have a process for consistently collecting, analyzing, and sharing these lessons learned,” says the April 2023 report. “Although the Navy has begun improving the collection of data related to fires aboard ships during maintenance in the Navy’s safety database, no organization is analyzing the broad effects of fires on the Navy’s operations and strategic resources. Without conducting such analyses, the Navy will not have a complete picture of the magnitude of risks associated with ship fires.”

GSA auditors toured two big Navy sites — Norfolk, Virginia, and San Diego — where they reviewed maintenance procedures on the USS San Diego, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship being fixed at BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “Navy guidance states that during the maintenance period, ship personnel are to complete training courses. The Commanding Officer of the ship is responsible for ensuring that a sufficient number of trained personnel are available to respond to in-port emergencies on the ship,” per the document.

“The surface ship guidance also states that a ship’s repair party manual must include other resources such as additional ship personnel to relieve in-port emergency teams when fighting a large fire.” But a potentially dangerous gap was found. “During our tour of the USS San Diego, ship officials stated that their ship’s requirement was about 440 personnel. However, the ship had 310 personnel onboard at the time — about a 30-percent reduction of personnel from the requirement.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

In September of last year, Navy sailor Ryan Sawyer Mays was acquitted of arson by a military judge in the USS Bonhomme Richard case. “The ship’s lower vehicle storage area became a junkyard, and I believe throughout this entire process the Navy was attempting to clean up their mess by accusing Seaman Mays of these allegations,” said defense lawyer Gary Barthel, a former Marine judge advocate, after the verdict, according to a September 30 Associated Press dispatch. Days before the USS Bonhomme Richard fire, “Mays had angrily texted his division officer, complaining about having to live among contractors who were doing work that was ‘hazardous as fuck,’” according to a September 23 account of the disaster by ProPublica.

“A worker was welding near his bunk as he slept, and Mays said he was burned by a stray spark. In 2015, a major fire started on another warship in a shipyard with similar conditions: sailors moving aboard while ‘hot work was being done.’”

Per the GSA’s April report, “Following the USS Bonhomme Richard fire, the Naval Safety Command began a comprehensive historical review of major fires onboard U.S. Navy ships. The Naval Safety Command identified multiple recurring trends in causal factors in 15 shipboard fire-related events over a 12-year period. The command concluded that non-compliance with fire prevention, detection, and response policies and procedures was likely prevalent across the fleets.” In a March 31 letter, a Navy representative concurred with the auditors’ conclusions.

Oily Maienschein

Ex-San Diego city councilman, current California Assembly Democrat, and would-be 2024 candidate for San Diego City Attorney Brian Maienschein, who is currently facing an independent legal analysis of whether he has enough lawyering experience to hold that position, also operates a campaign fund called Maienschein for Attorney General 2030.

Man with a plan: Brian Maienschein has a long-term political strategy.

Latest special interest donors include petroleum giant Chevron, which contributed $5500 on April 11, according to a disclosure report filed with the California Secretary of State. But that’s peanuts compared to the whopping $210,000 Democratic Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins picked up on May 2 for her so-called ballot measure committee from the California Apartment Association Issues Committee...More bad news for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, whose governing board declined to renew the contract of CEO Peter Callstrom on March 23 after ex-employee Tabatha Gaines filed suit against the agency, alleging that Callstrom was the cause of a “hostile working environment” there. Now lawyers for the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission have ruled that the partnership can’t get a financial piece of a contract to come up with “behavioral health workforce initiatives” previously suggested by the non-profit when it was paid by the county as a consultant for the mental health project. “Because [the San Diego Work Force Partnership] took on the role of an advisor in the initial contract, which required that [the partnership] design strategies for the County to assist with recruiting and retaining its public behavioral health services staff, they cannot enter into the subsequent contract to implement the behavioral health workforce initiatives that [the partnership] recommended in their report under the initial contract,” opined FPPC General Counsel Dave Bainbridge in an April 3 advice letter to Chief Deputy County Counsel Shiri Hoffman.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Peter King lives a cell-free life

The art of conversation “has most definitely gone downhill.”
Boats we lost in the fire: USS Bonhomme Richard in happier times.
Boats we lost in the fire: USS Bonhomme Richard in happier times.

Fire in the hold

A report to Congress by the United States Government Accountability Office in the wake of the July 2020 fire that devastated the USS Bonhomme Richard has found that when it comes to extinguishing construction fires aboard its ships, the Navy is woefully understaffed, employs a mishmash of firefighting strategies, and has conducted no system-wide analysis of the problem. “U.S. Navy ships undergoing maintenance face a high risk of fire, in part because repairs can involve sparks or welding in confined areas with flammable material. Navy organizations collect and analyze lessons learned from fires through a number of processes.

However, the Navy does not have a process for consistently collecting, analyzing, and sharing these lessons learned,” says the April 2023 report. “Although the Navy has begun improving the collection of data related to fires aboard ships during maintenance in the Navy’s safety database, no organization is analyzing the broad effects of fires on the Navy’s operations and strategic resources. Without conducting such analyses, the Navy will not have a complete picture of the magnitude of risks associated with ship fires.”

GSA auditors toured two big Navy sites — Norfolk, Virginia, and San Diego — where they reviewed maintenance procedures on the USS San Diego, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship being fixed at BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “Navy guidance states that during the maintenance period, ship personnel are to complete training courses. The Commanding Officer of the ship is responsible for ensuring that a sufficient number of trained personnel are available to respond to in-port emergencies on the ship,” per the document.

“The surface ship guidance also states that a ship’s repair party manual must include other resources such as additional ship personnel to relieve in-port emergency teams when fighting a large fire.” But a potentially dangerous gap was found. “During our tour of the USS San Diego, ship officials stated that their ship’s requirement was about 440 personnel. However, the ship had 310 personnel onboard at the time — about a 30-percent reduction of personnel from the requirement.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

In September of last year, Navy sailor Ryan Sawyer Mays was acquitted of arson by a military judge in the USS Bonhomme Richard case. “The ship’s lower vehicle storage area became a junkyard, and I believe throughout this entire process the Navy was attempting to clean up their mess by accusing Seaman Mays of these allegations,” said defense lawyer Gary Barthel, a former Marine judge advocate, after the verdict, according to a September 30 Associated Press dispatch. Days before the USS Bonhomme Richard fire, “Mays had angrily texted his division officer, complaining about having to live among contractors who were doing work that was ‘hazardous as fuck,’” according to a September 23 account of the disaster by ProPublica.

“A worker was welding near his bunk as he slept, and Mays said he was burned by a stray spark. In 2015, a major fire started on another warship in a shipyard with similar conditions: sailors moving aboard while ‘hot work was being done.’”

Per the GSA’s April report, “Following the USS Bonhomme Richard fire, the Naval Safety Command began a comprehensive historical review of major fires onboard U.S. Navy ships. The Naval Safety Command identified multiple recurring trends in causal factors in 15 shipboard fire-related events over a 12-year period. The command concluded that non-compliance with fire prevention, detection, and response policies and procedures was likely prevalent across the fleets.” In a March 31 letter, a Navy representative concurred with the auditors’ conclusions.

Oily Maienschein

Ex-San Diego city councilman, current California Assembly Democrat, and would-be 2024 candidate for San Diego City Attorney Brian Maienschein, who is currently facing an independent legal analysis of whether he has enough lawyering experience to hold that position, also operates a campaign fund called Maienschein for Attorney General 2030.

Man with a plan: Brian Maienschein has a long-term political strategy.

Latest special interest donors include petroleum giant Chevron, which contributed $5500 on April 11, according to a disclosure report filed with the California Secretary of State. But that’s peanuts compared to the whopping $210,000 Democratic Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins picked up on May 2 for her so-called ballot measure committee from the California Apartment Association Issues Committee...More bad news for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, whose governing board declined to renew the contract of CEO Peter Callstrom on March 23 after ex-employee Tabatha Gaines filed suit against the agency, alleging that Callstrom was the cause of a “hostile working environment” there. Now lawyers for the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission have ruled that the partnership can’t get a financial piece of a contract to come up with “behavioral health workforce initiatives” previously suggested by the non-profit when it was paid by the county as a consultant for the mental health project. “Because [the San Diego Work Force Partnership] took on the role of an advisor in the initial contract, which required that [the partnership] design strategies for the County to assist with recruiting and retaining its public behavioral health services staff, they cannot enter into the subsequent contract to implement the behavioral health workforce initiatives that [the partnership] recommended in their report under the initial contract,” opined FPPC General Counsel Dave Bainbridge in an April 3 advice letter to Chief Deputy County Counsel Shiri Hoffman.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

Comments
Sponsored

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Fleet After Dark, Lake Street Dive, Comic Con Bar Crawl

Events July 25-July 27, 2024
Next Article

German Cultural Minister tried to cancel Wagner

Wagner doesn't appeal to the young because he makes too many demands
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

This Week’s Reader This Week’s Reader