Royal Navy sacks enough sailors on drugs in four years to fill a WARSHIP, shocking figures reveal
By Eddie Wrenn
Last updated at 4:28 PM on 13th February 2012
63 sailors tested positive for drugs since 2007
All but four were discharged from duty
Drug tests revealed sailors had used cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and steroids
Ships including HMS Ark Royal and HMS Cumberland were involved
The Royal Navy has dismissed enough sailors for drug offences in the last four years that it could have manned an entire warship with the disgraced crew.
A total of 63 sailors tested positive for illegal substances – including ecstasy and cocaine – between October 2007 and July 2011.
Some of the sailors who failed the drug tests were serving on some of the Navy’s most prestigious ships, including the HMS Royal Ark.
The sailors include two women, aged 22 and 23, who tested positive for cocaine on the HMS Ark Royal in March last year – just four days before the aircraft carrier was decommissioned in Portsmouth.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, also reveal a male Leading Seaman, aged 26, tested positive for cocaine on HMS Westminster.
If those 63 sailors had not lost their positions, they could have manned a typical minesweeper, which generally has a crew of 30 to 40, between them.
A male sailor tested positive for a steroid while aboard the frigate HMS Cumberland in Abu Dhabi
29 sailors were discharged between October 2010 and September 2011 for a variety of offences, including taking cocaine and ecstasy.
All but one of the sailors caught using drugs last year were in the UK at the time. The exception was a male rating, 23, who was sacked after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone while aboard the frigate HMS Cumberland in Abu Dhabi.
The Royal Navy, like the Army and RAF, has a strict anti-drugs policy and sailors have to take regular tests.
Those who fail can expect to lose their job.
A navy spokesman said: ‘We have a robust anti-drugs policy and will not tolerate misuse of drugs by personnel in any form.
‘We maintain a comprehensive programme of compulsory random drugs testing to ensure maximum deterrence.
‘All navy service personnel, wherever they are serving – ship, shore establishment or on operations – are liable for random compulsory drug testing.
‘Administrative discharge is the normal consequence of a positive test.
‘The procedure allows those who test positive to make a representation against discharge and to contest the results if they wish.
‘They will be reinstated if vindicated.’
From October 2010 to July 2011, 29 sailors failed tests – 16 of which were positive for cocaine and 12 for cannabis.
All 29 sailors were sacked.
12 sailors were convicted between October 2007 and September 2008, 15 sailors were convicted between October 2008 and September 2009, and seven were convicted from October 2009 to September 2010.
Of those 34 sailors, all but four were sacked.