Navy decides to scrap San Diego-based ship that caught fire in July

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Almost five months after it caught fire, the Bonhomme Richard’s fate has been determined: It is headed for a scrapyard.

On Monday, Navy officials announced plans to decommission the amphibious assault ship within a year before it is scrapped.

The fire that damaged it beyond repair burned for almost five days back in July is still under investigation, although arson is suspected.

According to Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, it would’ve cost as much as $3.2 billion dollars to repair the ship. And that the time required to fix it was deemed too much.

“After thorough consideration, the secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations have decided to decommission the USS Bonhomme Richard,” said Ver Hage, the commander of Navy Regional Maintenance Center.

According to Ver Hage, they considered all options assessing as much of the ship as possible including the flight deck, the command center and many of the decks immediately below them, determining they would all need to be completely rebuilt.

“The Navy looked at repairing it to full mission-capabilities, refurbishing it as a tender or hospital ship, or decommissioning,” Ver Hage said.

Ver Hage estimated it would take five to seven years to finish the work and said it would cost more than building a new one.

The decommissioning option will cost the Navy about $30 million and will take between nine months to year

Ver Hage said there’s a possibility of towing the ship to storage or to ship breakers in the Gulf of Mexico.

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