A Royal Navy speedboat responded to a Spanish Guardia ship this morning in UK waters, just off Gibraltar.
The chase took place after the Spanish patrol ship, Rio Belelle, cut across USNS ‘Carson City’ just a few hundred meters from the Southern entrance of Gibraltar’s Naval base.
The Royal Navy rigid-hulled inflatable boat was forced to abandoned the U.S escort and proceeded to peruse the Spanish civil guard ship.
It is the latest incident of several recent intrusions in UK waters from Spanish ships.
Michael J Sanchez, founder of Gibraltar Coast Watchers commented on Twitter earlier today:
“Nothing better to ruffle Spain’s feathers than a visit of a U.S Navy ship to #Gibraltar.”
The incident comes only two weeks after the Royal Navy, a Spanish police boat and a trawler were involved in a ‘standoff’ in the waters surrounding Gibraltar.
However, this year there have been a string of separate occasions where the Royal Navy were forced to intervene and chase off different Spanish vessels.
A UK government spokesperson confirmed today's events:
"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. At no point was there a risk to safety.”