Recently, classified Royal Navy diagrams were found on the floor of a pub restroom by a pub-goer in Barrow, Cumbria, UK.
The documents contained details of a critical part of a new $1.6 billion nuclear submarine, HMS Anson.
The papers were part of a training manual handed out to every crew member of the new sub and were marked as Official Sensitive, the second-highest classification used in Britain.
Although the documents were clearly in the wrong place, their owner’s enthusiasm for studying was commended.
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A former Royal Navy submarine captain stated that the papers are part of a book that covers all the systems on a sub and are handed to every individual intended to come aboard the vessel during missions.
The person who discovered the papers returned them to the Royal Navy.
Fortunately, the papers were not classified as Secret, which would have made the matter more serious.
This is not the first time sensitive Navy documents have been found in an unexpected place.
In June 2021, a 50-page pile of Ministry of Defense documents was found at an unclassified bus stop just a day before the Royal Navy air-defense destroyer HMS Defender was involved in a brief stand-off with a Russian warship.
The papers found at the bus stop contained details of the expected Russian response to British ships’ entry into the waters surrounding Ukraine.
Although the papers found in the pub were not all that secret, they could have easily fallen into the wrong hands, posing a risk to national security.