Portsmouth patrol boat bullies out Spanish gunship in Gibraltar – again

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A TINY Royal Navy patrol boat from Portsmouth has bullied a Spanish warship out of Gibraltarian waters for a second time.

HMS Scimitar intercepted the Infanta Cristina off the coast once again and managed to scare it off.

It is the second time the plucky patrol boat has been forced to step in to get the ship out of British waters in just one month.

The vessel, crewed by seven Royal Navy sailors, is armed with two general purpose machine guns and is 16m long.

But the little craft is dwarfed by the Spanish corvette which is almost six times the length of Scimitar and boasts an armament of eight harpoon missiles, one Sea Sparrow missile, one 76mm gun and two 40mm guns.

The Royal Navy confirmed they intercepted the vessel in British waters on Thursday, but said no further action was taken. A spokesman for Spain’s foreign ministry told Mail Online they did not recognise the waters as belonging to Gibraltar and claimed their ship was on a routine patrol.

The incident comes amid an ongoing row between Whitehall and Spain over the sovereignty of ‘The Rock’, which was captured from Spain in 1704 and ceded to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht.