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Spanish Warship Enters British Waters With Guns Manned, Royal Navy Deployed

Vessel orders commercial ships to leave Britain's Gibraltar territory

 on 18th February 2019 @ 12.00pm
the spanish warship entered british waters with its guns manned  ordering ships to leave the area © press
The Spanish warship entered British waters with its guns manned, ordering ships to leave the area

A Spanish warship has entered the British territorial waters of Gibraltar with its guns manned, ordering commercial ships to leave the area, the territory's government is reporting.

In response to the incident, the UK has deployed Royal Navy ships to defend the British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.

An audio recording shows the Spanish warship's crew telling ships anchored at Gibraltar to "leave Spanish territorial waters" during a radio exchange.

The Gibraltar Port Authority ordered commercial boats to remain after they were told to move by the Spanish ship.

A spokesman for Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar described the show of force by Spain as "foolish."

"There is only nuisance value to these foolish games being played by those who don't accept unimpeachable British sovereignty over the waters around Gibraltar, as recognized by the whole world in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," the spokesman added.

"It seems there are still some in the Spanish navy who think they can flout international law.

"This probably accounts for the state of extremism of some parts of the Spanish political spectrum these days."

the spanish navy ship ordered commercial ships to leave british waters  claiming it to be spanish waters © press
The Spanish navy ship ordered commercial ships to leave British waters, claiming it to be Spanish waters

According to Sky News, The warship was accused by the government of trying to take "executive action" against the commercial boats, which were anchored on the eastern side of the Rock.

A crew member is heard in the recording asking the Spanish ship "to verify you are referring to our ship" because they are anchored in Gibraltar.

He said: "We are not adrift, we are at anchor now."

He is then told again to leave Spanish waters.

gibraltar is a british overseas territory located at the southern tip of the iberian peninsula © press
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula

A statement released by the Gibraltar government said:

"The Royal Navy deployed a launch and a rigid-hulled inflatable boat to the scene.

"After being challenged by the Royal Navy, the Spanish warship sailed slowly along the Gibraltar coast with its weapons uncovered and manned."

The Gibraltar government "is verifying every aspect of the incident in order to ensure that appropriate action is taking as soon as possible."

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tags: Royal Navy | Brexit
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