A Spanish patrol boat reportedly tried to “hassle” an American nuclear submarine attempting to dock at Gibraltar.

According to multiple sources, flares were fired across the bow of the Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena in mid-April as it twice attempted to sail across the front of the American ballistic missile submarine USS Florida.

The USS Florida, a 20,000 ton Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, was commissioned in 1983 with the hull designation of SSBN-728; with her conversion to a cruise missile submarine, she was re-designated SSGN-728. She carriers 154 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Guardia Civil launch Rio Cedeña attempted to cross in front of the submarine but was stopped by the actions the Royal Navy’s HMS Sabre and a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, which manoeuvred in close, according to an eyewitness as reported by ‘The Chronicle’.

“The Guardia Civil boat was forced to a dead stop and made to retrace its course well away from the submarine” said Michael Sanchez, who saw the events unfold and photographed key moments.

A spokesman for the Governor’s office confirmed the incursion “…in the vicinity of an incoming submarine.”

“The professionalism  of the Royal Navy and Gibraltar Defence Police ensured there was no risk to safety,” the spokesman added.

This is yet another Spanish incursion into Gibraltarian watersThis is the latest in a long line of political infringements and military incursions into the sovereign territory of Gibraltar. Last year the Spanish Ambassador was formally called into Downing Street and a Formal Complaint was made by the FCO after the Diplomatic Bag was opened on the border with Spain.

Recently there have been many complaints regarding the Spanish behavior, the boarder guards have purposely caused delays for workers who travel across daily on orders from the Spanish government, there have been other incursions by Spanish vessels into water and Spanish divers were seen carrying out investigations on the artificial reef off the Gibraltar runway (which runs out into the sea).

The Spanish Government have yet to respond to their latest violation but what they think they’d gain from harassing an American nuclear submarine, is anyone’s guess.

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Graham Howlett

They along with the Argentinian’s who speak Spanish as well so it makes sense – thick


I’d think that’s a somewhat inappropriate cover picture although at least it does have Gibraltar in the background. The Navy vessel that fired the warning shots is a bit smaller than HMS Dragon…comment image

Michael Thomas

Typo in the article. Third paragraph from the end, ‘boarder’ should be ‘border’.

UK Defence Journal

I wrote it on a train, woops! Thanks.

Allan Elder

There’s an H in whoops lol !

Cj Leathers

UK Defence Journal Missing a word in the final sentence I believe.

Matthew Hitchmough

Why would you hassle a vessel with the firepower to level a city… With a patrol boat. Was the captain drunk?


Paddy Hill

Unfortunately it was only a patrol boat not the one in the photo that fired a flare.

Seb Haggart

No but the Submarine could of levelled a city! The 45 in the picture has no land attack capability. The US sub very much does with its 100 plus TLAM’s

The 45 is the air cover while the sub has its party date. Yeah paddy I know fella was talking about the Sub levelling the city, if I’m honest a dinghy with an agressive small dog could take on the spanish.



what do you mean “could”? That is exactly what happened, dude! You limeys are Uncle Sam’s aggressive lap mutts, and you just bark loud when someone comes close to your master.


Because they know Obama will piss his own pants and apologize.

Ryan Campbell

One of these days it won’t be a flare, it’ll be a burst from a GPMG. they’ll learn the fucking hard way if they keep this shit up.

Nigel Dowsell

Enough warning shots, next incursion sink them

Miguel Losada

No teneis cojones…

Ben Davis

We just need to wait until lunchtime when the lazy fuckers are asleep.

Nigel Dowsell

Miguel Losada Oh I got the guts and would not bat an eyelid It’s the government that don’t have the guts

Miguel Angel

Or drunk in Mallorca , jumping from balconies .

Mike Wickham

Miguel Angel if it wasn’t for British tourism then Spain would be screwed you bitter wanker!

Allan Elder

I wonder how many British soldiers are buried in Spain? They died in the early 1800’s fighting under the command of the Duke of Wellington liberating the Spanish from their former French allies. The Spanish and most of Western Europe, owes a massive debt of gratitude to the United Kingdom (and our Commonwealth family), for the freedom those countries enjoy today. That gratitude is rarely, if ever shown.

Michael Stanley

Good…..show those bull abusing Spaniards whose boss of the waters!!


the USN

Ivor Evans

In your dreams.

Keith Holderness

Just returned from Gib, and all seems quite at the moment. No problems at the border crossing.


It’s not summer yet….give it a month or so and you’ll see the queues, sometimes it’s for hours.

Miguel Losada

Putos ingleses.

Ivor Evans

fuck off spick.


in puerto rico it means you a good looking fag ,in mexico it mean u a coward and dishonest ,and in other spanish county it mean you a homosexual hooker…u got it !!!! so dont let no one disrespect u with that word ok puto…..
Bit of a twat Miguel

Steven Gellard

About bloody time

Kyle Williamson

About time !its been happening for year ,they just take the piss ! They play cat and dog game with the Royal Navy nearly
Every day
Ministry of of defense should take these matters seriously and show every country what belongs to the UK belongs to the UK and will remain like that

Dan Brown

Why don’t they just sink one of them to prove a point, then rescue the crew and keep them ransome? Seems like the sort of old world childish antics the Spanish would like.

Allan Elder

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard springs to mind!

What galls me is the sheer hypocrisy of the Spaniards. They have two enclaves on the North African coast and no sign of the returning Cueta back to Morocco. We need a decent sized Gibraltar guard boat – a frigate at least – and a submarine popping upand down outside Spanish harbours for good measure!

Ceuta et Melilla n’ont JAMAIS apartenus au Marroc… Elles datent de bien avant la creation du Marroc . Ok ?

Fed up with Spanish hypocrisy

Miguel – Islas Alhucemas, Islas Chafarinas and Penon de Velez de la Gomera. Now piss off you trolling grease-ball!

Allan Elder

See Treaty of Utrecht, 1714. Still a legally binding international treaty.

Allan Elder

Western Sahara existed before Morocco, yet Spain gave it to the Moroccans, much to the annoyance of the Western Saharans!

david southern

Exactly! I did read somewhere last year that HMG was considering stationing a permanent RN presence in Gibraltar. Maybe if the Spanish keep this up then that will happen.

they use their enclave in Ceuta, across the Strait of Gibraltar, as a port for visiting Russian naval vessels.

Gibraltar español y los ingleses que no se pongan tontos , que les mandamos a nuestros politicos y los dejamos alli

Jason Bartlett

They must have been crazy to try and block a usn sub, they should be thankful that the patrol boat fired as the Americans would have just sunk them.

Dan K

Nice bit of rhetoric “. . .the Americans would have just sunk them.”

Not very likely. Like the British, the Spanish are our allies. The sub’s Skipper did what is expected. He let the British take care of the situation in Gibraltar’s territorial waters.

Lee Avegeek Hill

The British vs Spanish history repeating itself

Ben Davis

How stupid do you have to be too piss off the British and the Americans in one go?

Mark Campbell

Should’ve sent it to the bottom, there’s been enough warnings given!!

William Richardson

BZ to to RN

Glenn Middlemiss

about time

Álvaro de la Barra


John Buckley

Fire for effect! Result,
Several pairs of shit stained spanish undies.

Gabriel Butler

William Wright

steven kirkland

Pathetic actions by the Spanish, Really, what were they thinking?

Phil Jolly

About bloody time there should always be a Frigate or Destroyer present at Gibraltar

Ross Hendrie

That would be a waste of a valuable warship. We need the modern equivalent of a MTB.

Phil Jolly

Ross Hendrie every warship is valuable along with its crew but a continual presence at Gibraltar as home port would make a statement to Spain & reassure the citizens along with help with the continual patrol in the Mediterranean.

Kent Reynolds

What’s their problem! It’s not the first time they’ve done this.

Joey Boenke

About time!

Martin Cooke

Nuke the dago swine !.

Steve hale

Daygo bastards another good reason to get out of Europe all the Spanish are good at is being a waiter and serving paella ke !
On doz trays

David Saxby

And Spain are supposed to be our “friends” in Europe !!!

Miguel Angel


Allan Elder

We guessed that!

Jordan Chapman

Sink them next time

Ryan Kelly

Shots fired;)

Levi Joy

Calm down Chappy, don’t go starting any wars

Jordan Chapman

Hey if they want to go encroaching on our territorial waters then they started it.

Jack French

Ines Fournon sort it out m8

Ines Fournon

as stopped by the actions the Royal Navy’s HMS Sabre and a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, lolololoolo they sent an inflatable boat

Danny Jones

Harrison Juhasz

Albert Yome

as if the Royal Navy would send a destroyer to protect us! The only thing HMG will “fire” is a stern letter. This is quite simply NOT true. NONE of our coast watchers / ship spotters heard or saw this and many were keenly photographing the SSGN’s arrival.

UK Defence Journal

Albert, it most certainly is true. It happened in mid-April. With the greatest of respect, at least do a brief Google search before implying we’ve made something up. Flares were certainly fired.

You own news media also reported this at the time: http://chronicle.gi/2016/04/guardia-civil-incursion-as-submarine-sails-into-gib/


Was it one of the new Spanish warships…with the glass bottom? Designed so the new Spanish Navy can look at the old Spanish Navy ?

Miguel Angel

The same old navy that you broke ass in 1741 .
6 Spanish ships against 180 British, Vernom against Lezo and you go out running like fucking rats

Allan Elder

We want Menorca back!

Mike Wickham

Ooooo he’s pissed right off ^^

Seb Haggart

Go home Miguel you are drunk you melt! You’re the one looking at a Royal Navy Facebook page speaking in English you utter drip.


Seb, nobody anywhere in the world learns to speak english, you dimwit. They learn to speak American. Yeah, I have no idea why the rednecks in the Guardia Civil decided to harass a USN SSBN. Yet it is funny how one perspicacious commenter wrote above that the Spanish would be afraid of a boat with an aggressive small dog, since indeed you limeys are the lapdog of Uncle Sam. I don’t think it is you little mutts that scare anybody, it is rather the big guy that you keep company with who (still) inspires respect, and you know that. It… Read more »


Oh! was the british ship one of the new ones? Designed to hide under the skirt of Uncle Sam?

Ryan Treadwell


Ian Pears

They fired a FLARE…….it was as simple as that.

Nick Gilbert

I bet old Vladimir is rubbing his claws together

Keeran Stephenson

Charlie Stuart

Graham Burn

Dave Potts


I wonder what the background is to all this.

I doubt it is coming from the Spanish central government.


No it is not.

The Guardia Civil are just rednecks. They probably thought the sub was cool and just wanted to take a selfie close to it, seriously.

David L Thomas

excellent one royal navy – not a good idea to sail near a warship or submarine in the first place

Neil Russell

Morgan Mills Joe Handy

Joe Handy

it was to help the US again

Neil Russell

Should have just sunk them

Rick Mundy

Your either a Navy people mess with you or your not. Let the sailors decide what is the right thing to do.

Ange Kenos

who do these rude Spaniards think they are? Turks who daily infringe Hellenic waters???


Let’s face it, that sub can probably put out more offensive options than most of the royal navy combined, so I think it could have taken care of itself.

Lets read something about the Treaty of Utrecht please.

Allan Elder

See Wikipedia!

K maclean

As usual H M Government will do nothing because they lack the will or strength (no balls).
What happens when foreign nationals openly carry guns over the frontier. Happened today

Miguel Angel

A good Spanish urine always looking britain (Blas de lezo y olavarrieta 1689-1741)

Miguel Angel

If the British navy boats do not sink , it is because the shit fleet.
Even with boats Falklands Islands war against our modern navy.
You’re crazy.


tío no se te entiende nada de lo que has dicho. De verdad, abstente o usa Google Translate, que esto queda fatal.

Esteban Pló Asensio


Esteban Pló Asensio