A Royal Navy vessel has fired flares at a Spanish research vessel after it strayed into British Gibraltar territorial waters.

Gibraltar’s chief minister slams ‘reckless disregard for safety’ shown by research ship, as it refused to respond to radio contact

HMS Sabre reportedly gave the warning to Angeles Alvarino after attempts to contact it by radio failed.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said:

“The Royal Navy challenges all unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters. We back this up by making formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish government.”

Gibraltar chief minister Fabian Picardo said:

“I have discussed all the tactical decisions taken and am satisfied that they have been designed to demonstrate untrammelled sovereignty jurisdiction and control over BGTW.

I congratulate the Royal Navy for the work they have undertaken so far in very challenging circumstances in light of the reckless disregard for safety displayed by the official Spanish vessels involved.

Diplomatic and political action must now support the excellent work undertaken by the navy personnel with limited resources.”

It is understood the Spanish vessel left Gibraltars waters after the flares were fired.


    • And in other new the British Admiralty have announced that HMS Saber will be paid off and replaced with HMS Bankrupt. Described as being a type 200 18 ft rowboat of the penny pincher class.

  1. For the record, the Spanish vessel did not “stray” into our waters, it was a calculated and deliberate incursion designed to stick two fingers up at Gibraltar (and Britain).
    This is just the latest in a long line of torments that occur several times a week, every week ! The UK needs to man-up in its response……

  2. Build a wall around Gibraltar waters! Line it with GPMG.

    No, seriously, diplomatic protests and flares mean nothing. They will be ignored, and HMG lack the balls to do anything else. And to be fair Spanish ships sailing there mean nothing too. The rock will not suddenly become Spanish. It is far too important to the likes of GCHQ, so off you go Diego.

    All hot air over nothing.


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