19 Nov, 2013 @ 21:59
1 min read

Royal Navy in ‘heated’ standoff with Spanish survey ship in Gibraltar

ramon margalef gibraltar

A SPANISH survey ship has defied repeated orders from the Royal Navy to leave British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.

The RV Ramon Margalef entered the area at around 5pm on Monday and was still there on Tuesday afternoon.

Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Sabre challenged them while minesweeper HMS Penzance remained berthed at the nearby Naval Base.

The British captain of the Royal Navy patrol boat warned, “You are violating the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) governing the right to innocent passage. You are to cease your current actions and leave British Gibraltar Territorial Waters immediately.”

The captain of the RV Ramon Margalef responded stating that they had permission from Spain to be there, “We are carrying out oceanographic works which are in the interest of the European Community. We will continue with our work.”

The Foreign Office in the UK said it had summoned the Spanish ambassador in London after the latest incident.

The Government of Gibraltar condemned the ‘sustained incursion’ and described it as ‘intolerable’ and ‘dangerous’.

A spokesman said, “The Government considers that the actions of the Ramon Margalef represent an intolerable intrusion into British waters and constitutes a clear violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). There has been close consultation between the Gibraltar Government, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Gibraltar Police throughout the incident.”

Karl Smallman

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  1. foiled by a rubber dingy!

    But seriously, 20 hours? i bet even the spaniards were glad to go home after that, muttering “never before have so few given so much, without a tapas break…”

    I’m forever amazed at the restaint of Gib.
    And not amazed at the uselessness of the EU.

    Does anyone know how long you can break the law before something happens?

    PS. First!

  2. The Spanish government is in turmoil. The latest is just another attempt to focus attention away from internal strife. Spain’s PP Government is badly in need of a unifying patriotic rally just as Argentina was just before the Falklands War. Gibraltar will not fall for that, and I doubt very much that Britain will either. Good try, but no thanks. They may find themselves exposed to the world though for their undemocratic and un European tactics and though. Incredible goings on of what is supposed to be a NATO partner.

  3. @Anselmo: Spanish Law also allows civil guard to fine you on the spot for nothing, allows the authorities to disappear people, allows preists to steal babies…
    Just because its law doesnt make it right and civilised.

    In this case, the whole world understands that the spanish boat was in british waters. and britain magnanimously did not blow them out of the water – as was their right.

    You shouldnt keep poking Gib. What if THEY shut the border?

  4. Big Jon

    In Spain there aren´t laws that allow de disappearance of people, or the kidnaping of babies.

    Regarding unfair fines, in my life I have suffered any, or I know anyone who have been charged with an unfunded traffic infraction. But when I drive I see that there are drivers that don´t respect the traffic rules. The result is that all the years die by traffic accident hundreds of persons, specially motor bikers and bikers.

    I agree with you that there may be unjust laws. For example, in the past slavery was legal, and obviously this is grossly unfair.

  5. Anselmo – i can only assume you are very young. How could you not know about Spains Missing Babies? Or the atrocities of your dear Franco? Or the corruption of your civil guard?
    All these things are well known to locals and foreigners alike.
    What I and many others find annoying, is not the problems, but the pretense that they dont exist, and the automatic defense of “ah, but in your country…”

    But to get back on point: why do you think spain is antagonising Gib, when she should be doing more to emmulate it?

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