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Soldiers storm police vessel in maritime exercise

Royal Marines practised a hostile boarding operation using a police patrol boat in British Gibraltar territorial waters yesterday.

They raced up to the Royal Gibraltar Police vessel Sir Adrian Johns in fast rigid-hulled inflatable speedboats, before storming the vessel with assault rifles at the ready.

The ‘noncompliant boarding exercise’ was conducted about 1.7 miles off the east side of the Rock yesterday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed the exercise and said it was part of routine training for visiting troops.

The RGP was not involved in any way other than providing the platform for it to take place, a police spokesman told the Chronicle.

Gibraltar, with its airfield, tunnels and easy access to the sea, is regularly used as a training location for UK-based soldiers.

But while some types of activity including parachute jumps are common every year, boarding exercises such as the one yesterday are unusual.

Photos by Bart van Thienen

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