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Gibraltar Squadron orders Spanish research ship out of BGTW

The Spanish research ship Garcia del Cid is closely monitored by HMS Scimitar in BGTW on Saturday. Photo by Stephen Ignacio

The Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron ordered a Spanish research vessel out of British Gibraltar territorial waters on Saturday.

The oceanographic vessel Garcia del Cid, operated by the Spanish state research agency Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, entered British waters in the Bay of Gibraltar at around midday.

It was shadowed by HMS Scimitar, which ordered the Spanish ship over VHF radio to cease any research activity and leave British waters.

The Spanish ship was escorted from British waters at around 2pm and, despite signalling otherwise, did not conduct any survey work in BGTW.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said the U.K. would lodge a diplomatic protest with Spain over the incursion.