A fast police boat ran aground on a submerged reef off Sandy Bay beach on Friday night in circumstances that have yet to be clarified, the Royal Gibraltar Police has confirmed, adding that no one was hurt in the incident.
The 13-metre interceptor vessel Sir Francis Richards, pictured above in a library image, hit the reef between the beach’s two groynes at low tide at around 9pm last night while patrolling Gibraltar’s coastline.
The vessel spent several hours stuck on the reef before it was refloated with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, a police spokesman told the Chronicle.
“The Sir Francis Richards made its way back to its base at Gun Wharf under its own power,” the RGP spokesman aded.
“None of the crew were injured and any damage that may have been occasioned is still to be assessed.”
He added: “We are currently looking into the circumstances that led to the vessel running aground on the submerged reef section of the groyne at Sandy Bay.”
The Royal Gibraltar Police, together with other law enforcement agencies both in Gibraltar and neighbouring Spain, have been kept busy in recent weeks against the backdrop of a surge in drug trafficking activity coinciding with the cannabis harvest in Morocco.
So far this month Gibraltar’s law enforcement agencies have responded to 30 incidents of suspected RHIB activity in British Gibraltar territorial waters.
There is no indication at this stage, however, that the police vessel was engaged in a pursuit at the time of the incident.
Photo by Moses Anahory