ROYAL Navy speedboats saw off a Spanish warship yesterday after it sailed into waters close to Gibraltar.
The 300ft Spanish patrol boat Rayo sailed close to Gibraltar‘s beaches as a pair of Royal Navy minehunter took part in routine training on their way to the Gulf.
Four fast boats from the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar Squadron had to escort the Spanish vessel for more than an hour before she left.
A witness said: “It was like David and Goliath, but the little boats weren’t afraid. They stayed with the Spanish ship until she turned tail and scarpered.”
Rayo was the third Spanish warship to probe the Rock since May. The patrol vessels Relámpago and Infanta Cristina both trespassed last month.
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Residents said the Spanish have ramped up incursions during the coronavirus outbreak.
The minehunters, HMS Penzance and HMS Chiddingfold, had been taking part in routine training with the Gibraltar based vessels. A Navy source insisted they were not affected by the stand-off.
Figures released under Freedom of Information show there were 3000 Spanish incursions over the last five years, roughly 12 a week. Most are by small police or coast guard boats.
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