Six Royal Navy sailors tasered in bar brawl after the first transatlantic voyage of Britain’s £3billion aircraft carrier 'Big Lizzie'
The Daily Mail
Two of the sailors from HMS Queen Elizabeth were tasered by Florida police while witnesses reported seeing sailors urinating from a pub balcony into the street.
According to local police reports, three of the six sailors resisted arrest. A seventh member of the aircraft carrier’s crew was taken into custody for trespass.
The 65,000-ton ship, nicknamed Big Lizzie, began her maiden transatlantic voyage last month and docked at Mayport naval base on Wednesday.
The purpose of her visit is to conduct trials with F-35B fighter jets which will eventually be based on board. The trials have been described as an ‘iconic moment for the modern Royal Navy’ by the carrier’s commanding officer, Captain Jerry Kyd.
But within hours of reaching dry land, hundreds of the crew began drinking. While the vast majority were well behaved, some fought among themselves in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night, according to local police.
Police sergeant Larry Smith said: ‘Six sailors were arrested in the bar district and all the offences were alcohol related, such as disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest.’
He added that one of the two sailors tasered had been tackled by a female police officer who took action when he refused to stop fighting.
Violence broke out outside Lynch’s Irish Bar. A manager said: ‘The Royal Navy guys came in like a flood, boom. Like they had suddenly been let out of a cage and now they were free. It was unreal and we just weren’t prepared for it.’
The nearby Tavern bar has now banned all Queen Elizabeth personnel because of the sailors’ aggressive behaviour on Wednesday night.
The six sailors appeared in a Florida court on Thursday morning and were released. It is unclear whether they face any further criminal action in the state.
But they do face further sanctions under UK military law.
Last night, former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Lord West, played down the incident. He said: ‘You might get one or two people behaving badly. That certainly happened in my 53 years in the Navy.’
A Ministry of Defence spokesman added: ‘The Naval Service places great importance on maintaining the highest possible standards of behaviour from its personnel at all times.’
Editors Note: I have worked port cities the majority of my career. The Navy would make stops fairly regular. Sailors are going to get drunk and sometimes disorderly. In Galveston there were several bars (clip joints) known to cater to the sailors. We very seldom had problems. When we did the Shore Patrol took care of business.