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Sensitive UK Royal Navy documents found in public toilet

29 April: Sensitive UK Royal Navy documents found in public toilet- Navy has ordered investigation

The Royal Navy is investigating how documents marked “official sensitive” ended up in a pub toilet in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The files contained details about HMS Anson, one of the navy’s most advanced submarines.

Sensitive navy documents about a nuclear-powered submarine were found in a pub toilet in Cumbria. The Royal Navy is investigating the incident.

According to the Sun newspaper, which first reported the story, the documents were left on the floor of a cubicle in the Furness Railway pub, a Wetherspoons branch near the BAE Systems’ shipyard where HMS Anson was built.


The paper said a source found the files on a “quite a lively night” and handed them over to the staff. The Sun then contacted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and returned the documents.

The Royal Navy said in a statement that the documents were “generic training papers that carry no classified information”. However, it added that it took “all security matters extremely seriously and will investigate the circumstances of their discovery”.

HMS Anson is a nuclear-powered attack submarine, the fifth of the new Astute-class vessels to join the navy fleet. It is 97m long, weighs 7,800 tonnes and can circumnavigate the globe without resurfacing.

The submarine is capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles and has a sonar system that can track ships 3,000 miles away. It is now based at His Majesty’s Naval Base in Clyde, Scotland.


This is not the first time that sensitive defence documents have been misplaced or leaked. In June, a senior civil servant was sacked after secret papers about Afghanistan were found at a bus stop in Kent.

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