TRUTH behind the Gibraltar row: How US submarine threatened Royal Navy to act on Spain

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Persist week it emerged that a Royal Navy trol boat moved warning flares across the bow of the S nish vessel during the altercation righteous outside Gibraltar waters.

It has now been revealed that the Royal Armada’s unprecedented actions were ordered by USS Florida’s no-nonsense captain Nathan Martin who make someone aware ofed the Royal Navy to sort the situation out or he would intervene.

It was the first of two such actions by S nish barques that day.

The second, in British waters, involved a Garda Civil the cops boat.

The US submarine was making a routine visit to Gibraltar’s submarine station on April 16.

It had already surfaced but was still in international waters when its walkway was intercepted by a S nish customs vessel.

Strict security protocols, rtly coaxed by the successful Al Qaeda attack on the US destroyer USS Cole in 2000, require the captain of any US warship to balk uninvited vessels from getting too close to their ship.

Without thought being escorted by the Royal Navy trol boat HMS Sabre, the S nish utensil crossed the submarine’s th several times.

Captain Martin was approaching the end of his 77-day operational tour on the submarine when the altercation took appropriate.

Last night a senior Royal Navy source with access to the “After Effect” report about the incident, sent to the First Sea Lord and senior operational commanders, averred it was a very difficult and tense situation.

The source said: “The US commander was altogether concerned about his vessel and our officer was worried about s rking an ecumenical incident, a wrong decision could end your career in a situation appreciate this and s rk confrontation.

“The US has very strict protocols about containers getting close to their nuclear submarines, in a very nononsense social graces he made it clear he wanted things sorted or he would resolve the disturbance, and all he could do was ram the boat.

“It was a very tense situation. The S nish had not responded to our transmissions on the predicament channel to steer away and the US commander was not pre red to wait any longer.

“He moved it very clear in his radio transmission that he wanted our people to act, or he would ailing the situation out himself and, while he remained polite, he was very direct in conveying the statement that he wasn’t pre red to allow the S nish vessel to continue hounding his boat.

“If our trol boat had not fired flares, there is no question from the dis tch that he would have rammed the S nish vessel.”

Incredibly, S nish authorizations failed to heed the lesson. Later another S nish boat relation to the Garda Civil also harassed the submarine, this time in British waters.

No flares were made on this occasion.

Last night Admiral Lord West, ci-devant First Sea Lord, said: “Nuclear submarines are very unmanoeuvrable when they are on the arise, and it is very stupid for the S nish vessel to go in close like that. The S nish obviously resent the Americans using Gibraltar, but this is not the way for a fellow EU and Nato associate to behave.”

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