Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Navy fired flare in SVA sub incident

A Royal Navy patrol boat fired a flare to warn off a Spanish customs vessel that got too close to a US submarine as it approached British Gibraltar territorial waters last month.

Details of the incident were revealed by The Sun newspaper yesterday, which claimed several flares were fired after a Guardia Civil vessel ‘harassed’ the USS Florida.

In fact, the Spanish patrol boat belonged to the Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera and only a single flare was fired, the Chronicle understands.

The incident unfolded in international waters and had been kept secret until now.

The warning flare had the desired effect and the Spanish vessel moved away from the submarine and its Gibraltar-based escort.

The Chronicle reported last month on a separate incident that occurred later that same day once the USS Florida had entered the Bay of Gibraltar.

Royal Navy vessels from the Gibraltar Squadron intervened after the Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedeña tried to cut across the submarine’s bow.

That second incident was witnessed and photographed by local ship spotters, but the Asociación Unificada de la Guardia Civil, which represents Guardia Civil officers, later denied it had happened.

FULL STORY IN OUR PRINT AND E-EDITIONS

Photo by David Parody