A TUG boat accompanying HMS Talent, a Royal Navy submarine, fired a warning flare at a Spanish vessel after it came too close.
When the Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine was being towed out of the port of Gibraltar it encountered a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel on patrol.
After repeated radio attempts from the nuclear submarine to warn the patrol boat off over the radio were ignored, the accompanying tug-boat fired a flare in the direction the advancing Guardia Civil.
The flare was enough to ward off the Guardia Civil patrol boat and it promptly retreated granting the HMS Talent a clear passage out of the port.
Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister remarked: “The dangerous incident today involving the departure of HMS Talent is regrettable.”
He stressed the importance of adhering to the bays strict sailing code, stating: “It serves to remind everyone of the importance of following the rules of navigation and recognising the respective jurisdictions that operate side by side to each other in the Bay of Gibraltar.”