Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) participate in firefighting drills on June 6, 2017, while the warship was underway in the Atlantic Ocean. On Nov. 29, 2022, off the coast of Southern California, nine sailors were injured battling a blaze on board the flattop. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jacob Smith.
A blaze erupted on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, injuring nine sailors before it was extinguished, according to the US 3rd Fleet.
In a pair of brief statements released Wednesday, officials said the fire broke out on Tuesday, Nov. 29, while the Nimitz-class carrier was roughly 30 nautical miles off the coast of Southern California, but it was “quickly identified” and put out by the crew.
The sailors were treated on board the warship for “minor injuries” and were returned to duty, according to the statement.
The carrier stayed underway to conduct routine operations, and officials have not said when Lincoln will return to its homeport at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Basketball players from Gonzaga University and Michigan State University jump for the ball during the 2022 ESPN Armed Forces Classic - Carrier Edition, held on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) while in port at Naval Air Station North Island, California, Nov. 11, 2022. The ESPN Armed Forces Classic is an annual series of college basketball games held on or near Veterans Day on military bases as a tribute to US service members. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Julia Brockman.
Officials at 3rd Fleet didn’t return Coffee or Die Magazine messages seeking comment.
The fire broke out only a dozen days after the carrier’s crew held an all-hands safety stand-down in the hangar bay.
The Navy preaches that damage control and firefighting are duties of every sailor on board a vessel, regardless of rank or rating, and sailors frequently train on how to battle a blaze.
On Veterans Day, Lincoln’s flight deck became a basketball court, hosting the ESPN's 2022 Peraton Armed Forces Classic – Carrier Edition, pitting Gonzaga University against Michigan State.
Abraham Lincoln returned from a deployment to the 7th Fleet’s Indo-Pacific area of responsibility on Aug. 11.
Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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