Two Injured in Engine Room Fire During Rim of the Pacific Exercise

BAP Guise seen from the deck of USCGC Midgett, July 13 (USCG)

Published Jul 18, 2022 7:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Two sailors aboard a Peruvian Navy vessel were injured in an engine room fire during the Rim of the Pacific naval exercise off Hawaii, according to RIMPAC's U.S. organizers. The Peruvian Navy has identified the affected vessel as the corvette BAP Guise, the sole warship dispatched by Peru for this year's war games. 

The U.S. Navy reported that the fire broke out aboard a warship connected to the RIMPAC exercises at about 0800 hours on Sunday. The extent of the fire was not released, but it was only declared out at 1340, more than five hours after the blaze was reported. 

Two of the vessel's crewmembers sustained burn injuries in the fire, and they were evacuated by a French Navy helicopter from the frigate FS Prairial in a lilypad operation - first to the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Midgett (the command vessel for Guise's task force) and then onward to the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln before transfer ashore.

The victims were in "critically stable" condition, according to a statement from a U.S. Navy spokesperson. 

BAP Guise is the former ROKS Suncheon, a South Korean corvette built by Hanjin Heavy Industries in 1987. She was decommissioned in 2019 and transferred to Peru just last year. The sale included a significant overhaul program, including teardown and reconditioning of her diesel and gas turbine engines. Her recommissioning ceremony was held in January, just six months before the fire. 

RIMPAC is the world's largest naval exercise, and it is normally held every two years. This year's edition includes participation from twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft, more than 30 unmanned systems and 25,000 personnel, and it will run for more than a month. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series, which began in 1971.