Nuclear sub leaves Gibraltar furore behind
9 Febraury 2005, GIBRALTAR - A British nuclear submarine, whose visit to Gibraltar for a minor repair prompted a formal protest from Madrid, has left the disputed territory as scheduled.
9 Febraury 2005
GIBRALTAR - A British nuclear submarine, whose visit to Gibraltar for a minor repair prompted a formal protest from Madrid, has left the disputed territory as scheduled.
HMS Sceptre left its berth in the naval base at around 9am and slowly sailed out of the bay into the Mediterranean, taking about 25 minutes to do so.
A number of British patrol boats were in the area, and some accompanied the submarine on the way out.
The Sceptre arrived there last Thursday, when the British Ministry of Defence said it would stay for about a week to undertake maintenance to its external casing and fin.
It later transpired that a fault had developed in the cooling system of a diesel motor, which was repaired Monday. The fault was unrelated to the nuclear reactor, military sources said.
There was an uproar in Spain about the submarine's visit, with the Spanish
government lodging a formal protest.
The Gibraltar government welcomed the submarine's visit, but complained that it had not been fully informed about the nature of the repair work.
British nuclear-powered subs occasionally dock in Gibraltar, a British possession on the southern Spanish coast, although their visits have been a source of contention with Madrid.
Despite Spanish and Gibraltarian sensitivities, Britain continues to argue that Gibraltar provides an important support facility for submarine maintenance.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news