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.