Friday 22 September 2017

Spanish police fire at British jet-skier

Fiona Govan Madrid

Britain has confronted Spain's government after a police patrol boat fired at a British jet-skier in waters off Gibraltar in the latest diplomatic spat over the territory.

The unnamed man was apparently shot at by Spanish police four times off Gibraltar's Western Beach, within British waters, on Sunday afternoon.

David Lidington, the UK's minister for Europe, said he met his Spanish counterpart, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, to "protest in the strongest terms".

"During an illegal incursion by a Guardia Civil vessel, a Guardia Civil officer fired a weapon," Mr Lidington said in a statement. "I made clear that the discharge of a weapon in or near Gibraltar is completely unacceptable," he said.

The jet-skier said that he had been trying out a new jet ski and offering rides to friends and family when the Civil Guard patrol boat approached.

"During the journey in question, I left Western Beach, always staying within the confines of British waters."

He added: "Suddenly, shots were fired, and I had to perform evasive manoeuvres."

A spokesman from the Civil Guard denied that any shots had been fired at a jet ski, but claimed that a patrol boat had pursued a jet-ski suspected of bringing in smuggled cigarettes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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