Written by Staff Writer, CNN
France detained a Royal Navy boat Sunday as the row between the UK and France over fish rights in the North Sea escalated.
The MV Iceberg 1 was heading for Corsica when it was detained Sunday, the vessel’s Commander Stephen Flynn said in a statement posted on the Royal Navy’s Twitter account.
A response from a spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency explained that the Iceberg 1 had been towed off the coast by the French vessel Caunce, which refused to grant the ice breaker a berth.
“No port was available to Caunce for disembarkation, therefore the Iceberg 1 was returned to Corsica,” the agency statement said.
Crew members of HMS Turbulence on their way to North Sea icebreaker MV Iceberg 1. Courtesy Royal Navy/PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images
The HMS Turbulence, carrying 630 crew members and divers, has since been dispatched to support the Iceberg 1, the statement said.
According to French officials, the vessel was spotted on Sunday evening approaching the UK’s Watershed station, but on spotting its lights, the British vessel sped away, shouting at the French Iceberg 1’s skipper.
The UK Border Force denied accusing the French vessel of harassing the ice breaker, “but did express its concern to the French that no attempts were being made to protect the submarine.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to visit the UK on Monday, but a UK government spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.
“The UK Border Force, backed by the Royal Navy, has worked closely with the French HNTF (French Armed Forces) for many years to protect UK interests and assist with their operations. This has included use of HMVs for such missions,” the spokesperson said.
As tensions mounted, the ICEG came under attack from a tiny TV fake meteorite.
UK sailors have been staying away from the offshore waters since last week after British Prime Minister Theresa May signalled plans to ban military vessels from fishing.
The decision has raised the temperature between the UK and France as the two sides fight for their share of the waters in the North Sea.
France has declined to acknowledge the existence of the arrangement.
The UK previously banned ships from fishing 50 miles off its coast from 2012, but this has now been extended to 200 miles.