Royal Navy forced to chase Spanish civil guard ship out of Gibraltar’s waters after it cuts across path of US Navy vessel
DAILY MAIL – Thomas Burrows
“A Royal Navy rigid-hulled inflatable boat this morning chased off a Spanish Guardia Civil boat in UK waters off Gibraltar. It did so after a Spanish patrol boat, Rio Belelle, cut across the transport vessel USNS Carson City as it entered Gibraltar. Michael Sanchez, founder of Gibraltar Coast Watchers, said the incident had been a ‘very irresponsible and reckless move by the Spanish vessel’.
He said: ‘Nothing better to ruffle Spain’s feathers than a visit of a US Navy ship to Gibraltar.’ A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office told MailOnline:
‘Earlier today, a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel conducted an innocent passage through British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. As is routine, the vessel was shadowed by the Royal Navy. ‘All vessels have the right of innocent passage through another State’s territorial waters, as provided by the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea. At no point was there a risk to safety.’
MailOnline have contacted the Government of Gibraltar for a comment. USNS Carson City is the seventh Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport, currently in service with the Military Sealift Command. It was launched in June last year. It was making its way to the Naval Base at Gibraltar at 8am this morning when the Spanish Guardia Civil launch travelling south to north cut across her path. This required one of the Royal Navy’s speedboats engage”