HMS Bulwark Arrives In Weymouth

Security preparations for the 2012 Olympics begin off the Dorset coast this week with the arrival of HMS Bulwark.

The Royal Navy ship will be based 10 miles off Weymouth to support a test exercise ahead of sailing and windsurfing events this summer.

The assault ship, which arrives today - Monday 30th April - will remain offshore for three or four days with police activity also set to increase around Weymouth Harbour.

The ship will return in July for the Games and will be used by Dorset Police as a command base.

Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Whiting, who is leading the security operation in Dorset, said: "This summer will see the ultimate celebration of sport and we are working with partners to ensure a safe and secure Games in Dorset.

"Our role includes supporting the organisers and athletes by ensuring the fields of play on the water are safe and secure - an area of approximately 50 square miles.

"To do this, we will use small watercraft, including rigid hull inflatable boats and jet skis, as well as launches crewed by Dorset officers and marine police officers from other forces around the country.

"In partnership with the Royal Navy, Dorset Police will have access to the widest range of maritime capabilities and expertise."

Captain Alex Burton, of HMS Bulwark, said: "The Games is a once in a generation event and it is a privilege that HMS Bulwark, and indeed other Naval aircraft, craft and ships, have been chosen to support Dorset Police in the safety and security operation.

"The training exercise next week will allow us to practise our procedures to ensure maritime security is robust but discreet during the Games providing a truly spectacular global sailing event."