THE UK Foreign Office has admitted a Royal Navy helicopter swooped down on a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel when it entered Gibraltar waters, after initially denying the eye witness reports.
Witnesses reported seeing a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter ‘buzz’ the patrol boat Rio Cedena while it was in Gibraltar territorial waters on Friday.
At first the MoD said there was no intervention by a helicopter when the boat sailed into Gibraltar waters at 7:30 in the morning, spending nearly half an hour in the Bay, and defying warnings by the Royal Navy.
There was a second incursion by the same vessel at around midday, although it was only in Gibraltar waters for a few minutes.
Witnesses again reported having seen the Royal Navy Lynx – which arrived in Gibraltar with HMS Northumberland – swooping low near the Rio Cedena during this second incursion.
Initially, the Foreign Office said the helicopter was not involved in any operation regarding unlawful incursions. However, late on Friday night a different line emerged.
A spokesperson confirmed: “HMS Northumberland and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter conducted a routine sovereignty patrol of BGT.”