UK patrol boat intercepts Spanish vessel in Gibraltar waters

Spanish Navy photo of ESPS Infanta Cristina

A Royal Navy fast patrol boat challenged and escorted a larger Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel which entered territorial waters of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.

HMS Scimitar intercepted ESPS Infanta Cristina on Wednesday morning off the east coast of Gibraltar.

UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the incident to The Sun, adding that the agency would be protesting to the Spanish authorities.

Wednesday’s incident is the latest in a series of Spanish warship incursions into British waters. The previous one took place in late October and was also checked by HMS Scimitar.

Royal Navy vessels occasionally resorts to firing warning flares and shots to drive out Spanish Navy warships. One incident in May 2016 even included a nuclear-powered US Navy submarine which had been entering Gibraltar for a visit.

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