THE latest incursion of a Spanish survey vessel into Gibraltar’s territorial waters has led to reiterated condemnations of Spain’s maritime behaviour as it endangered lives.
Executive actions taken by the ‘Angeles Alvarino’ vessel were denounced as ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible’ as well as useless challenges to UK sovereignty after it refused to follow the Royal Navy’s orders to leave.
The ship sent out probes to ‘take samples’ of the reef at Europa Point, one of which fell onto a Royal Navy inflatable boat that had gone to investigate the defiant vessel.
“Gibraltar continues to be at the receiving end of Spanish bullying and harassment,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“Nothing is achieved except needlessly risking mariners’ lives and wasting precious euros on diesel.”
Europe minister, David Lidington, expressed ‘grave concerns’ to Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and pointed out the unlawfulness of the event.
He said: “Under no circumstances should Spanish vessels be provoking a situation that could result in serious injury or a fatality.”
There are plans to take more robust action to stop such occurrences in the future.