UK protest after close encounter with Spanish warship
Britain will protest to Spain after a Spanish warship came dangerously close to a Royal Navy patrol boat during an incursion into British Gibraltar territorial waters.
The Spanish frigate Alvaro de Bazán was heading to Algeciras through British waters when it altered course and came into close proximity with the Gibraltar Squadron’s HMS Scimitar.
“Safety at sea is a priority for the UK and Gibraltar,” a UK Government spokesman told the Chronicle.
“The Royal Navy acted within clear rules of engagement.”
“The Royal Navy challenges all maritime incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters and did so again on this occasion.”
This was one of two Spanish Navy incursions into British waters yesterday.
The Spanish auxiliary vessel Patiño was also shadowed as it sailed past the Rock.
“We back this up by making formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish government,” the UK Government spokesman said.
“We take these actions to defend our sovereignty over British Gibraltar territorial waters.”
Both Spanish vessels were heading to Algeciras after participating in a naval exercise in the area.