It has been reported that thieves have managed to steal £250,000 worth of diesel destined for a docked Royal Navy warship in what is being described as one of the UK’s biggest ever fuel heists.

The fuel was stolen whilst HMS Bulwark is in port for maintenance. In late 2020 Bulwark was dry-docked for phase two of her optimised support period. The ship is to remain in dry dock prior to undertaking a phase 3 “recertification package” ahead of her planned return to the fleet in 2023.

This was first reported by Jerome Starkey at The Sun. According to The Sun here, the operation was only foiled when a guard performed a spot check on a tanker leaving the site. The Sun say that a source told them:

“They must have needed one hell of a jerrycan. The fuel that was taken was supposed to power the ship as it undergoes a refit. It’s a bit like generating electricity for a small town given Bulwark’s size and the generator is enormous.”

I’d recommend reading the great work from Starkey here.

What is HMS Bulwark?

HMS Bulwark is one of the Royal Navy’s two Albion-class amphibious assault ships. Together with her sister vessel, her job is to land Royal Marines and their equipment – including trucks and tanks – ashore by air and sea.

The Royal Navy say here that along with her sister ship HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark’s primary role is to transport large numbers of troops, vehicles and equipment and land them ashore using her on-board landing craft.

“The landing craft are permanently operated by 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. With a crew of 325, HMS Bulwark can also accommodate up to 405 additional troops, as well as 31 trucks, 36 smaller vehicles, and even main battle tanks. Her 64-metre-long flight deck can also house two Merlin or Sea King helicopters and two Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

Beyond belief and utterly lost for words, lessons learnt?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I worked for a company where the hoods turned up with some pretty decent looking paperwork to collect some servers. Night security helped them load up. Nobody noticed until I got a call about a service being down, tried to remote into the server and then went to check the physical rack….

But I agree this must have been going on for an awful long time and an awful lot of tankers.

What happens if a Chinese or a Russian guy turns up to collect the Artisan radar or the CMS servers?

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

I make that about 3 dozen tankers full.

Assuming retail prices from some time ago.

Sean the real Sean
Sean the real Sean
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt

At today’s costs you mean 3 Jerry Cans .

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

Hopefully the guard who did the spot check gets a decent bonus payment…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

And film rights to follow…

Jona120
Jona120
28 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

A bonus for doing what they get paid for ????

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago

There is no explanation on how this happened? Presumably the diesel had to be trucked in, was it intercepted enroute? Or were the loaded tankers driven out of the yard without anyone noticing?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

According to the linked aritcle:

“They siphoned off more than £250,000 worth during the daring operation — which Navy chiefs fear went on for weeks.”

It sounds like these guys pumped the diesel out of the ship into the tanker, then just kept coming back again and again! It couldn’t really have been siphoned, could it?

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Fuel was for the shore side generation, so like the old ones at Pompey there is a Huge Power pack sat dock side with a large fuel tank.
Now your not going to walk or drive in on-site in a tanker truck so i would assume this tanker was on-site and dipped into the fuel storage like its was topping up,
until the tanker was full, then tried to get out of site.
As the fuel Burn on these generators is monitored a huge loss would of been flagged over weeks.

Long term little by little,

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

That makes more sense than taking it from the ship itself.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Yes, seriously, it’s kind of funny but where’s the security on site? Seriously lax. Someone(s) playing with their phone instead ead of going their job!? What else could they’ve pinched? Maybe an inside job? Unbelievable. Need lift their game.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*doing

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

They probably had plausible looking paperwork?

The issue with security is always common sense and cross checks.

In this case I’m **guessing** the security guard was on duty when there was a delivery of diesel so was surprised to see it being pumped out. So asked questions?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

There should be a trackable log of all trucks, number plates, driver names etc through the site gates surely? It’s got to be a bit of an inside job to get away with this? Well it’s breathtakingly ballsy for sure. Sort of thing you’d want to do to your enemies… Lol 😁

Coll
Coll
1 month ago

Remember when 40 anti-tank mines were stolen in Warrington in 2021? The MOD managed to get them back. And 5 were sent to jail.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

The fact it took almost 2 years for the news to break, says this type of thing happens pretty regularly.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

Why did they send anti tank mines to jail it was hardly their fault.

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

  :wpds_smile: 

Coll
Coll
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

hehe

WSM
WSM
1 month ago

Theft from a naval dockyard should still be a Capital offence (from the yardarm !) ⚓

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
1 month ago
Reply to  WSM

I think arson still is ?

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

No, capital punishment was totally abolished in the UK in 1998.

Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
1 month ago
Reply to  David

How about Press-Ganging them instead to boost recruitment! 🤔😆🇬🇧👀

Tommo
Tommo
28 days ago
Reply to  David

The new Labour pty under liar Blair had the last hanging offences Arson in a Naval Dockyard and treason removed from the Books too be hip and trendy Cool Britiania

IKnowNothing
IKnowNothing
1 month ago

Part of me does have to admire the sheer bottle of the tea-leaves though, especially to keep coming back so many times

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

This ships have a large crew. Much larger than I would have expected. Anybody got insight on why so many?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
27 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Its a big ship! Besides the standard departments for the MEs such as Prop, Services and Chippy you have a boats group looking after 4 x LCU 4x LCVP and the LCVP boat davits. WE ( My lot, I was the Warrant Weapons on Bulwark for my sins) is not to big, pretty much a standard department but a couple of extras looking after the LCU/LCVP and some extras for the big magazines. Pinkies have extras for the comms and computer systems as do the CIS dept.There are a lot of computer and comms systems. Logs there are lots of… Read more »

johan
johan
1 month ago

Babcock, any wonder you would have thought that the extra over consumption would of been flagged on the ordering, installed generators on UkGovs Sites there consumption in monitored and fuel orders, are placed accordingly. this goes further than people on the dock.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
1 month ago

So roughly 30 odd takers worth of fuel stolen? Like hell it was!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Would this ship grade diesel be the same grade as what would be used for cars and trucks?
Anything else gone missing? The kettle? They’d better check…

Chris.
Chris.
1 month ago

So the RN lost 10 litres of diesel. lol

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

I’ve had the odd jerrycan after an exercise……

Rob
Rob
29 days ago

Most likely organized crime. Also talks to lack of security guarding precious tax-payer funded resources. If thieves can get diesel, why can’t they get weapons and ammo?

Tommo
Tommo
28 days ago

I thought MOD fuel such as Diesel was coded and would be easily picked out if sold on unless this Fuel has now left the country for Resell?

bill masen
bill masen
28 days ago

Bloody navy, should get the army to secure the naval bases 🙂

bill masen
bill masen
28 days ago

” Erm Mornin Admiral, I’m ere to collect the nuclear reactor for Faslane”

Third warehouse on the left, help yerself chum”

bill masen
bill masen
28 days ago

“Psst wanna buy sum of fem Cruisy missile fings govt, fell of the back of a ship”

Da Tovarisch I will take them all Spasiba.

stevethemanc
stevethemanc
27 days ago

That is very worrying, if they can get their fuel dump stolen from them on a Naval Base, they won’t have much hope of spotting the enemy on a moonless night in the middle of the Atlantic will they?