A SPANISH warship has once again been chased away by the Royal Navy after it entered Gibraltan waters.
The P78 Cazadora vessel was intercepted over the weekend after it had entered the British territory from the north of the Bay of Gibraltar.
It is the third time the Senior Service has been called into action in almost as many weeks to boot out the Spaniards from the water around The Rock.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘The Royal Navy challenges all unlawful maritime incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) – and did so again on this occasion.
‘We back this up by making formal diplomatic protests to the Spanish government.
‘We take these actions to defend our sovereignty over British Gibraltar Territorial Water.’
Previously the Portsmouth-based patrol boat HMS Scimitar chased away the much larger warship Infanta Cristina at the start of April after it sailed past the eastern coast of Gibraltar – well within the sovereign territory’s waters.
Tensions over the region between Britain and Spain heightened after the prime minister triggered Article 50 on March 29 and initiated the process for the UK to leave the European Union.