British warship does a runner from Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Karl McLaughlin
Photo courtesy of Karl McLaughlin

Update 6 July: I’m grateful to Karl McLaughlin for brightening my morning with this update. When ex-Navy Chris Enmarch did a runner from Santa Cruz with his crew on his gunboat Defender, he fled to Senegal – where he was promptly arrested. It transpired as the case there progressed that they had, in fact, been hired as “protection” by the former head of Senegal’s national security – he too ended up on charges relating to the gunboat. Now, Dakar has found Mr Enmarch guilty of several offences relating to the gunboat, including not having a licence for it, and handed down a six month suspended sentence. His crew received a one month suspended sentence for entering Senegal illegaly. The former head of Senegal’s national security was found not guilty … and the gunboat has been confiscated.

Original post 2 June: A month or so ago a British ship which was on its way to Somalia, supposedly to help fight pirates and with denials of mercenary intentions, was forced to stop in Los Cristianos.  After Arona officials called in the Spanish Navy, claiming irregularities, it was transferred to Santa Cruz. Later reports claimed that a large fine was to be imposed but that the owners had been told they could leave if they paid €10,000. Now, it’s done a runner, making a dash for it from port in the early hours this morning and leaving without permission. Authorities consulted by the press refused to comment …


  1. Author

    Yes, indeed, I think my amusement got the better of me. I didn’t mean to imply it was a British navy ship … and knew it was privately owned, hence the reference to not being mercenaries …
    I’m afraid that I do find it terribly funny …

  2. the port authorities have been caught down with there trousers around there ankles, and its well known that the port has no money.
    the vessel was detained illegally, as well as getting a 40 k fine for not haveing a proper waste disposal system on the vessel.
    spare parts had been sent to the ship, but were blocked by the port authorirties in order to secure the fine, and delay the ship from sailing.
    no wonder the port have no comments to the ships action.

  3. Author

    It was, of course, the Diario de Avisos’s own Tinerfe Fumero who broke this story so it is very much that paper’s own scoop to make hay with! Good luck to them in investigating this. Once the immediate impact and the laughter dies away, a funny smell starts invading every aspect of it.

  4. Author

    David, I sent you an email but it seems to be having trouble delivering it to you. If you see this, I’d like to be able to speak to you … could you confirm your email address through the contact me box, or email me at ? Would appreciate it.

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