FURTHER trouble in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) as the Royal Gibraltar Police had to come to the aid of local vessels on two separate occasions over the weekend.
It is reported that the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) thought it appropriate to intervene during both of the incidents in order to avoid an escalation of the situation with the Guardia Civil.
On Saturday morning a member of the public called the RGP after seeing a Spanish state vessel pursuing a fishing boat in Gibraltarian territorial waters to the west of the Rock.
Although a RGP spokesperson later confirmed to GBC News that the boat had previously been seen in tuna-rich Spanish waters, there were no tuna aboard the vessel, and the Spanish pursuer was sailing in such a way as to endanger those on board.
The RGP vessel ‘Sir Joshua Hassan’ was able to intervene rapidly, and lead the fishing boat to a safe mooring. The Spanish boat is believed to have returned to Algeciras under the observation of the Royal Navy.
On Sunday evening a second maritime incident saw the Guardia Civil pursue a cabin cruiser off Europa Point. Although the chase’s motives remain unknown, the RGP decided to bring an end to the action as it was taking place in local waters.
This is not the first and will almost certainly not be the last time that the Guardia Civil was seen to be enthusiastically exercising its authority in BGTW. If the British Foreign Office consider that a line has been crossed in either of these two incidents, a formal protest is likely to be lodged with the Spanish government.