Two people were injured in a fire that burned for several hours on a Combined Task Force surface vessel participating in RIMPAC 2022, a Navy official said Sunday.
A fire broke out in the engine room at 8 a.m. local time and was extinguished by 1:40 p.m., Cmdr. Sean Robertson, RIMPAC spokesperson, said in a statement.
Two personnel, in “critically stable” condition, were evacuated from the Combined Task Force surface vessel by a French helicopter from frigate FS Prairial (F731), Robertson said. They were taken to U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) then to carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and then to shore. Navy officials would not detail the ship’s name or country other than it wasn’t American.
U.S. Safeguard-class rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, according to ship spotters. RIMPAC officials would not confirm if Grasp was dispatched to assist the stricken ship.
According to July 13 images released from the Navy, Midgett and Prairial had been operating in a surface group with Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise (CC-28) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Chafee (DDG 90) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG-101).
USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) Safeguard-class salvage ship leaving Pearl Harbor – more than likely helping with damage control efforts on ship reporting a fire participating in RIMPAC – July 17, 2022 #usnsgrasp #tars51 https://t.co/3vQY6f2tm4 pic.twitter.com/wwVYTBfTrC
— WarshipCam (@WarshipCam) July 18, 2022
The following is the complete Sunday statement from the RIMPAC spokesperson.
“As of 1:40 p.m. HST, the fire in the engine room aboard a Combined Task Force surface vessel is now extinguished. Two critically stable patients were evacuated from the ship by a helicopter from French navy frigate FS Prairial (F731) to USCGC Midgett (WMSL 757), and have since been transferred ashore by U.S. Navy helicopter from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).”