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Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise departs Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to begin the at-sea phase of Rim of the Pacific exercise, July 12, 2022.

Peruvian Navy corvette BAP Guise departs Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to begin the at-sea phase of Rim of the Pacific exercise, July 12, 2022. (Aiko Bongolan/U.S. Navy)

Two crew members suffered burns in a fire aboard a Peruvian warship involved in the multinational Rim of the Pacific naval exercise off Hawaii, according to the Peruvian Navy on Sunday.

A fire broke out at 1 p.m. that afternoon on the Peruvian corvette BAP Guise, burning the crew members, who were later evacuated by helicopters from the French and U.S. navies to a hospital in Honolulu, according to a Peruvian Navy news release.

An earlier release by the U.S. Navy said the fire occurred in the ship’s engine room.

None of the other Guise crew were injured, according to the release. It said the fire was extinguished by the Guise crew with help from foreign units.

The critically burned but stable crew members were evacuated from the Guise by a helicopter from the French frigate FS Prairial to the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Midgett, and then to shore by a helicopter from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, RIMPAC spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson said earlier Sunday.

“The combined RIMPAC force is providing support to the vessel,” according to an earlier RIMPAC tweet.

The fire aboard the Guise occurred during the “at-sea” portion of the exercise that began a week ago. That part of the exercise is intentionally not scripted to force the participating navies to adapt to conditions on the fly, Vice Adm. Michael Boyle, commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet, said July 9.

“It will have some free play that will allow commanders of ships, commanders of task forces and myself to have to think through problems and adapt our plans to be able to overcome what the threat or the environment is presenting to us,” he said.

The RIMPAC program includes gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air-defense exercises. Other drills focus on amphibious landings, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal and diving operations.

RIMPAC, which lasts until Aug. 4, is a biannual exercise that this year brought together 38 ships, four submarines, 30 unmanned systems, 170-plus aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel, including troops from land forces from nine nations.

Participating are forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

RIMPAC is considered the largest naval exercise in the world. Much of it takes place off the coasts of Hawaii and California and onshore.

The Peruvian Navy acquired the Guise from the South Korean Navy on Nov. 26, according to Janes.com. It was commissioned in June 1989 and decommissioned by the South Koreans on Dec. 24, 2019.

Prior to the handover, the corvette was extensively overhauled, including its hull, mechanical and electrical systems. “The ship’s MTU 125V956 TB 82 diesel engines and GE LM 2500 gas turbine were disassembled and reviewed, and new parts were installed where necessary,” Janes reported Dec. 1, 2021.

A Peruvian naval commission inspected the corvette between April 5, 2021, and July 4, 2021, the website reported.

Stars and Stripes reporter Wyatt Olson contributed to this report.

author picture
Joseph Ditzler is a Marine Corps veteran and the Pacific editor for Stars and Stripes. He’s a native of Pennsylvania and has written for newspapers and websites in Alaska, California, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania. He studied journalism at Penn State and international relations at the University of Oklahoma.
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