Crew onboard Spanish warship Infanta Elena chose to raise Gibraltarian pulses even further on Tuesday, at a time when The Rock’s post-Brexit fate remains very much lost at sea.
In a video posted on Twitter by Gibraltarian Nicholas Karnani (under the handle @Atajate71), the military vessel is seen cruising in waters around El Peñón (The Rock) whilst blasting the Spanish national anthem through the ship’s megaphone.
The video has been watched more than 114,000 times, receiving a wave of criticism from British commentators who see it as an unnecessary provocation by Spain’s navy.
@foreignoffice @HMGoG_MIP enough is enough it may not undermine sovereignty for the UK,but for as Gibralterians it's an invasion of BGTW.The UK Government must take action in defence of it's people. pic.twitter.com/QNGKpCjXKw
— Nicholas Karnani????????????????? (@Atajate71) December 4, 2018
According to Spanish Defense sources, the Infanta Elena was carrying out maritime surveillance through Spanish waters, although the country’s government doesn’t actually recognize that Gibraltar has any waters it can call its own, as stated in the 1713 Ultrecht Treaty.
Numerous reports in the Spanish press also state that the ship’s commander decided to play Spain’s famously word-free anthem in response to the UK’s God Save the Queen being broadcast on a radio frequency meant only for emergency calls.
Spanish warship illegally patrols British #Gibraltar Territorial Waters blasting Spanish National Anthem out of its Decks speakers. Clear provocation. Looking forward to @foreignoffice impotent PC verbal response. #Brexit #BrexitDebate #BrexitDeal pic.twitter.com/baZaVfXkp7
— John Connor MBE ? (@JohnConnorMBE) December 4, 2018
UK Defence Journal writes that the warship was in Gibraltarian waters and that the provocation came just from the Spanish side.
There are also other sources such as the UK’s Foreign Office who call into question the whole version of events, even disputing whether the footage and more specifically the sound is authentic.
— David Willetts (@DavidWilletts3) December 4, 2018
Gibraltar’s government is yet to release a statement after the incident but The Rock’s Information Service Centre in Spain did tweet: “Sailing through shamelessness and childishness, that’s the Infanta Elena singing the praises of Spain in British waters in Gibraltar.”
The ship’s commander is likely to face disciplinary action for the provocation, Spanish daily El País reports.