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Man arrested after stealing 2 x shotguns, 12 x pistols from RAN ship

The Bread Guy

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A man has been arrested in the northern Australian city of Darwin after weapons were stolen in a raid on a navy vessel.

Two shotguns and 12 pistols had been taken from a navy patrol boat moored at HMAS Coonawarra naval base at about midnight on Thursday. All the weapons have been recovered.

The attacker, dressed in military clothing and wearing a balaclava, had overpowered and tied up a sailor.

The navy has announced an inquiry into the breach of security.

'Significant result'

Northern Territory police said they had raided an apartment in Darwin at about 14:30 (05:00 GMT) on Saturday.

Commander Richard Bryson said: "This is a significant result for the Northern Territory Police and the community to recover these weapons and remove them from the streets so quickly."

The attack took place on the Armidale-class patrol boat, Bathurst.

The sailor was chained with cable ties, but had released himself to raise the alarm. He suffered only minor injuries.

HMAS Coonawarra is a key navy base, with about 600 naval personnel.

The navy has launched an investigation into the incident ....
BBC Online, 1 Dec 12

HMAS Bathurst doesn't appear to be the luckiest in the Aussie fleet - this from this past August....
SEAWATER has gushed into the corroded hull of a patrol boat in the waters off Christmas Island, dealing a fresh blow to the navy's ability to rescue and intercept asylum-seeker vessels.

The incident aboard HMAS Bathurst is the latest setback for the patrol boat fleet, which is literally cracking up under the high tempo operations required to meet the surge in asylum-seeker vessels coming to Australia ....

.... and this from 2008:
THE Royal Australian Navy is investigating claims that sailors deliberately damaged a patrol boat and bribed contractors so they could return to, and remain, in port in Darwin.
A preliminary report found no evidence that sailors had damaged the patrol boat HMAS Bathurst but investigations are continuing.

Whistleblowers have rejected the early findings and accused the RAN of a cover-up.

Despite saying there was a lack of evidence, the RAN admitted that the investigation had weeks to run before a final report was sent to the Commander Australian Fleet in Sydney.

"The inquiry will conclude once the inquiry officer has completed his interviews and produced his final report. This is expected on June 20," it said. "However, it should be noted that the inquiry officer has provided an interim report indicating that there is insufficient evidence to refer the matter to civilian or service police investigators."

The RAN finally admitted that a water purification unit on the vessel was damaged, forcing the boat back to port in Darwin.

Whistleblowers claimed sailors from "attack crew 6", patrol boats are crewed by rotating teams of sailors, purposely damaged the vessel so they wouldn't have to remain at sea.

"They also offered repair contractors bribes of money and beer to damage engineering equipment to stay in port," an informant claimed ....
 
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