The Spanish warship can be heard in a recording of a radio exchange demanding ships at Gibraltar “leave Spanish territorial waters”.
A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar said:
“Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is verifying every aspect of the incident in order to ensure that appropriate action is taking as soon as possible.
Gibraltar VTS ensured that the vessels in question did not act in consequence of the illegal Spanish instructions.
Sometimes I really do wonder if I am living in the last year of the second decade of the twenty first century…
Spanish patrol boat tries to order ships out of Gibraltar waters – Gibraltar Chronicle https://t.co/3urcRAtGdq
— Fabian Picardo (@FabianPicardo) February 17, 2019
There is only nuisance value to these foolish games being played by those who don’t accept unimpeachable British sovereignty over the waters around Gibraltar as recognised by the whole world under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It seems there are still some in the Spanish Navy who think they can flout international law. This probably accounts for the state of extremism of some parts of the Spanish political spectrum these days.”
— David Parody 🇬🇮 (@dparody) February 17, 2019
According to local media, the crew of the Spanish patrol boat Tornado can be heard in a recording of a radio exchange telling the vessels to “leave Spanish territorial waters”, even though they were anchored well inside British waters.