Naval Incident (24 January)

Defence written question – answered on 1st February 2002.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident involving a Spanish Government vessel and a British naval vessel on 24 January.

Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Labour, Hamilton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the incident involving a Spanish Government vessel and a British naval vessel on 24 January.

Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence

holding answer 31 January 2002

On 24 January two Spanish Navy patrol vessels entered British Gibraltar territorial waters during an operation by the Royal Navy to tow a suspected unexploded World War 2 bomb into deep water, following its discovery by the Mine Countermeasures Vessel HMS Grimsby during a routine survey. One of the Spanish vessels withdrew once the operation had been completed. The second remained in Gibraltar waters overnight, closely monitoring HMS Grimsby which continued her survey operation. Following contacts between the British Embassy in Madrid and the Spanish Government, this vessel left Gibraltar waters the following morning.

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