Royal Navy orders Spanish ship out of Gibraltar

#1
A few months ago, someone questioned the purpose of the Gibraltar Squadron. This article, which appears to have escaped the attention of most, provides part of the answer (AFP link). It demonstrates that maintaining an effective presence doesn't always need to involve heavy weaponry; just a display of determination and the means to back it up later if necessary. BZ to all concerned.

Royal Navy orders Spanish ship out of Gibraltar
5 days ago

GIBRALTAR (AFP) — A Royal Navy patrol launch stationed in Gibraltar has ordered a Spanish police vessel to abandon the waters around the British territory, a military spokesman said. The incident occurred on April 10 when the Spanish vessel was close to the western approach to the Gibraltar airport runway, which juts out into the bay. "It was definitely in Gibraltar waters," said a spokesman at the Command British Forces Gibraltar. The vessel -- from Spain's elite Civil Guard police force -- was approached by HMS Sabre, which is armed with two machine guns at its stern. "The guns were manned as is standard practice," the spokesman said while noting that they were not pointed at the Spanish vessel.

Spanish media said the Civil Guards contacted their superiors who told them to leave the Gibraltar area to avoid a diplomatic incident. Madrid contends that the waters around the territory, off southern Spain at the western gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, are Spanish -- a claim that Britain rejects. Spanish MP Jose Ignacio Landaluce from the opposition Popular Party said Spain would not allow a Civil Guard vessel to be expelled "from its own home", and has is expected to raise the issue before the Spanish parliament.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has retained a constitutional claim should Britain renounce sovereignty -- a move that London says it will not happen without the consent of Gibraltarians. Now a haven for tourism, shipping and offshore banking because of its favourable tax laws, its inhabitants overwhelmingly rejected an Anglo-Spanish proposal for co-sovereignty in a 2002 referendum.
Dare I hope that this OP will lead to a few more revelations and some informed discussion that will attract prospective new members among those serving and others with an interest in the role of today's Navy? Or will they be driven away as usual by the vociferous out-of-date minority more interested in crayoning on every serious thread with irrelevant events and practices of several decades ago, slagging off today's sailors or attempting to resurrect long-dead feuds (if the cap fits...)? Let's see, shall we?
 
#2
Trying to understand what you're getting at N_G, is this a veiled attack at another forum user? Having been based in Gib only 7 years ago, this so called OP happened frequently, does it deserve a BZ. For crying out loud, Gib Squadron draft is possibly one of the cushiest jobs in the mob, Im sure the boys in their grey pleasure craft managed to keep their stress levels down during the 'incident'. Sorry but this thread is a no goer.
 
#3
hahaha whe i was there this happened ******* dailly! I would put a tenner on it being the guardia civil A03 patrol craft, was full of necky spaniards! Most of the time just buzzing them in a rib was enough to send them back over the line but every now and again it gets to "letter writing time"
 
#4
angry_mac said:
Trying to understand what you're getting at N_G, is this a veiled attack at another forum user? Having been based in Gib only 7 years ago, this so called OP happened frequently, does it deserve a BZ. For crying out loud, Gib Squadron draft is possibly one of the cushiest jobs in the mob, Im sure the boys in their grey pleasure craft managed to keep their stress levels down during the 'incident'. Sorry but this thread is a no goer.
In this context, OP = Original Post.

Thanks Mac. You have already contributed something fresh and constructive to the discussion because I certainly didn't know that such incidents were commonplace. So why was this one newsworthy enough to make the international press? I still consider it somewhat bizarre that the RN actually faces down government vessels of a fellow member of NATO and the EU. As far as I'm aware, it hasn't been mentioned in such specific terms on here before so I wonder how those even more out of the loop would know. The thread may be a 'no goer' from your better-informed perspective but it's definitely not from mine.

Incidentally, my point was not a veiled attack although I can see how it could be construed as such. It was an expression of my hope that posters desist from spoiling yet another topical thread by diverting it down 'Memory Lane' or turning it into a personal slanging match. So far, so good (I think :) ).
 
#5
Naval_Gazer said:
angry_mac said:
Trying to understand what you're getting at N_G, is this a veiled attack at another forum user? Having been based in Gib only 7 years ago, this so called OP happened frequently, does it deserve a BZ. For crying out loud, Gib Squadron draft is possibly one of the cushiest jobs in the mob, Im sure the boys in their grey pleasure craft managed to keep their stress levels down during the 'incident'. Sorry but this thread is a no goer.
Blah

Incidentally, my point was not a veiled attack although I can see how it could be construed as such. It was an expression of my hope that posters desist from spoiling yet another topical thread by diverting it down 'Memory Lane' or turning it into a personal slanging match. So far, so good (I think :) ).
It seems somewhat ironic that Mac is both taking a trip down Memory Lane and contributing important background information to this cul-de-sac of an issue.
 

(granny)

Banned
Book Reviewer
#6
Naval_Gazer said:
angry_mac said:
Trying to understand what you're getting at N_G, is this a veiled attack at another forum user? Having been based in Gib only 7 years ago, this so called OP happened frequently, does it deserve a BZ. For crying out loud, Gib Squadron draft is possibly one of the cushiest jobs in the mob, Im sure the boys in their grey pleasure craft managed to keep their stress levels down during the 'incident'. Sorry but this thread is a no goer.
In this context, OP = Original Post.

Thanks Mac. You have already contributed something fresh and constructive to the discussion because I certainly didn't know that such incidents were commonplace. So why was this one newsworthy enough to make the international press? I still consider it somewhat bizarre that the RN actually faces down government vessels of a fellow member of NATO and the EU. As far as I'm aware, it hasn't been mentioned in such specific terms on here before so I wonder how those even more out of the loop would know. The thread may be a 'no goer' from your better-informed perspective but it's definitely not from mine.

Incidentally, my point was not a veiled attack although I can see how it could be construed as such. It was an expression of my hope that posters desist from spoiling yet another topical thread by diverting it down 'Memory Lane' or turning it into a personal slanging match. So far, so good (I think :) ).
It appears to me that YOU are already in the slanging match mode. I would think that anyone should be permitted to offer their opinion on any subject that is posted. Don't presume to tell anyone what they can or can't post.(Or are you just after a bite?)
 
#7
They hardly face each other down! The guardia vessel during my time there actually went inside the breakwater! And this was a local law enforcement vessel and as such has right to innocent passage but the rules governing this are a bit vauge at best and as such alot of encroachment occurs unreported. I have personally shadowed a spanish patrol boat which was a **** of a lot bigger than the scimitar class patrol vessels right up the western side of the rock before it wheeled away to algeciras but these tend to be just waving exercises. I have also seen the guardia vessel penant number A03 launching its little gemini esque rib in the eastern anchorage, well within the BGTTW 3 mile`s but after a few passes in the arctic abd a good white walling they fucked off!

The reason this incident may have been flagged up specifically could be that a plane was due to land or take off from/to the west and the vessel was in the restricted area that extends beyond the runway and was reported by air traffic control! Either that or a high ranking tower official was aboard the sabre.
 
#8
Aside to this, when I was there in 2001, the Royal Marines on one of the LPD/LPH exercised beach landings on Gibraltar, unfortunately they got it wrong and invaded La Linea, to the consternation of the local civil guardia. Ironic really when Gibraltar forms a massive part of RM history they cant even chuffing find it in sunny daylight.
 
#9
Just spoke to a mate out there, it was a guardia civil RIB that refused to move from the 1 mile aero buoy. It was told to piss off and eventually it did end of dit!
 
#10
Ponder this:
How irked would UK citizens be if the tail end, shall we say the Lizard peninsular, was owned by a foreign power due to a treaty signed yonks ago.
The Guardia Civil have vested interest in the place for a few reasons:
It should, according to them, be part of Spain.
A vast amount of drugs which appear in the country find their way through there.
The place has steadfastedly ignored human rights issues that the rest of the EU (Gib is not a member) take for granted.
And, the place looks like Crawley on speed!
 
#12
jimjimjimjim said:
Why would you smuggle drugs to gibraltar? its an extra border to cross
Feck knows mate but it does and is happening. Add the rather dodgy finance industry and you have something that any regulatory authority would take a second glance at.
 
#13
I wouldnt say that mate, i were there for 3 years and there was only one major drug haul in that time, tobbacco smuggling is the biggest problem for the local spanish authorities. Gib isnt the closest point to morrocco either which is obviously the source for alot of europes marajuana, tarifa is a lot closer to tangier!
 
#14
jimjimjimjim said:
I wouldnt say that mate, i were there for 3 years and there was only one major drug haul in that time, tobbacco smuggling is the biggest problem for the local spanish authorities. Gib isnt the closest point to morrocco either which is obviously the source for alot of europes marajuana, tarifa is a lot closer to tangier!
Fair enough mate and I admit to being a bit biased in favour of the Guardia. They do a fantastic job stopping all sorts of things, and are invariably polite when you meet them.
 
#15
sussex2 said:
jimjimjimjim said:
Why would you smuggle drugs to gibraltar? its an extra border to cross
Feck knows mate but it does and is happening. Add the rather dodgy finance industry and you have something that any regulatory authority would take a second glance at.
If drug smuggling is a bone of contention with the Spanish, then surely they would put major control on their border with Gib. Its not exactly the longest Borderline in the world.
And as for the human rights issue, don't the Gib population have any.
There were major riots there in '69 when it was rumoured that a hand back was on the cards and has been an issue ever since.
Sorry about the trip down "memory lane" but I thought it might be relevant, they still teach history in our schools.
 
#16
Rumrat said:
sussex2 said:
jimjimjimjim said:
Why would you smuggle drugs to gibraltar? its an extra border to cross
Feck knows mate but it does and is happening. Add the rather dodgy finance industry and you have something that any regulatory authority would take a second glance at.
If drug smuggling is a bone of contention with the Spanish, then surely they would put major control on their border with Gib. Its not exactly the longest Borderline in the world.
And as for the human rights issue, don't the Gib population have any.
There were major riots there in '69 when it was rumoured that a hand back was on the cards and has been an issue ever since.
Sorry about the trip down "memory lane" but I thought it might be relevant, they still teach history in our schools.

Methinks Gib may have changed somewhat since our heady days!
 

Levers_Aligned

War Hero
Moderator
#17
jimjimjimjim said:
The reason this incident may have been flagged up specifically could be that a plane was due to land or take off from/to the west and the vessel was in the restricted area that extends beyond the runway and was reported by air traffic control! Either that or a high ranking tower official was aboard the sabre.
This bit is true. In October 1988 I was part of a team going out to Gib on a 737 and we had a heavy landing on the airport due to shyte weather whereas we hit the deck halfway along and bounced down to the western end. In the end the pilot gave it throttle and pulled us upwards and over the bay, banking us sharp left (and still maintaining height at around 80 feet at the same level as the tankers' bridges in the bay I seem to remember) and levelled us out. We landed at Faro in the end and stayed overnight in a hotel where we sat with one or two RAF dudes, one of which had done the refuelling ops over the South Atlantic during Corporate and told us it was the closest he'd ever been to believeing he was finished (they touched wings and dropped hundreds of feet whilst refuelling and all sorts of stuff he said). The steep bank over was because pilots landing at Gib avoid being penalised for straying into Spanish airspace by banking sharp left on takeoff. This bloke could not believe we maintained height in the bank so well. The people meeting us at the airport watched us all through the evolution and many said they thought we'd crash into the bay and the fire trucks and meatwagons took off after us down the runway.

levers
 
#18
Levers_Aligned said:
jimjimjimjim said:
The reason this incident may have been flagged up specifically could be that a plane was due to land or take off from/to the west and the vessel was in the restricted area that extends beyond the runway and was reported by air traffic control! Either that or a high ranking tower official was aboard the sabre.
This bit is true. In October 1988 I was part of a team going out to Gib on a 737 and we had a heavy landing on the airport due to shyte weather whereas we hit the deck halfway along and bounced down to the western end. In the end the pilot gave it throttle and pulled us upwards and over the bay, banking us sharp left (and still maintaining height at around 80 feet at the same level as the tankers' bridges in the bay I seem to remember) and levelled us out. We landed at Faro in the end and stayed overnight in a hotel where we sat with one or two RAF dudes, one of which had done the refuelling ops over the South Atlantic during Corporate and told us it was the closest he'd ever been to believeing he was finished (they touched wings and dropped hundreds of feet whilst refuelling and all sorts of stuff he said). The steep bank over was because pilots landing at Gib avoid being penalised for straying into Spanish airspace by banking sharp left on takeoff. This bloke could not believe we maintained height in the bank so well. The people meeting us at the airport watched us all through the evolution and many said they thought we'd crash into the bay and the fire trucks and meatwagons took off after us down the runway.

levers
Aaagh! Memories of Danair flights!
 
#19
sussex2 said:
Rumrat said:
sussex2 said:
jimjimjimjim said:
Why would you smuggle drugs to gibraltar? its an extra border to cross
Feck knows mate but it does and is happening. Add the rather dodgy finance industry and you have something that any regulatory authority would take a second glance at.
If drug smuggling is a bone of contention with the Spanish, then surely they would put major control on their border with Gib. Its not exactly the longest Borderline in the world.
And as for the human rights issue, don't the Gib population have any.
There were major riots there in '69 when it was rumoured that a hand back was on the cards and has been an issue ever since.
Sorry about the trip down "memory lane" but I thought it might be relevant, they still teach history in our schools.

Methinks Gib may have changed somewhat since our heady days!

I was in Gib about four years ago and whereas I did not get involved in defence matters or to be honest even think of them I did talk with several locals.
They still seemed happy to remain "British" and when we went over the border into Spain (La Linea ) has to be revisited the check was cursory to say the least out ward, but more severe when we returned for some reason.
 
#20
Rumrat said:
sussex2 said:
Rumrat said:
sussex2 said:
jimjimjimjim said:
Why would you smuggle drugs to gibraltar? its an extra border to cross
Feck knows mate but it does and is happening. Add the rather dodgy finance industry and you have something that any regulatory authority would take a second glance at.
If drug smuggling is a bone of contention with the Spanish, then surely they would put major control on their border with Gib. Its not exactly the longest Borderline in the world.
And as for the human rights issue, don't the Gib population have any.
There were major riots there in '69 when it was rumoured that a hand back was on the cards and has been an issue ever since.
Sorry about the trip down "memory lane" but I thought it might be relevant, they still teach history in our schools.

Methinks Gib may have changed somewhat since our heady days!

I was in Gib about four years ago and whereas I did not get involved in defence matters or to be honest even think of them I did talk with several locals.
They still seemed happy to remain "British" and when we went over the border into Spain (La Linea ) has to be revisited the check was cursory to say the least out ward, but more severe when we returned for some reason.
I think the authorities on both sides of the border are pretty well known, if not related, to one another.
They play a little game depending on the present relationship between London and Madrid.
 

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