Last week at a media conference Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, the commander of US Navy warships, outlined the actions that have been taken since the Bonhomme Richard caught fire in San Diego last year… and he has completely missed the point.
“We found that in some cases maybe we weren’t doing as well as we should have,” Kitchener told US Naval Institute editor Sam LaGrone. “We’re pretty good at firefighting at sea and all those procedures. When we got to the industrial environment, it was ‘OK, looks like we need to kind of make sure there’s a little bit of education.”
His solution? The Admiral and his team decided to “beef up the safety staff” and added a mix of civilian and military fire marshals to check ships on the waterfront and in the yard. He didn’t mention that crews did not have THE single most basic piece of equipment needed to fight large ship fires: a fireboat.