Weeks after the supposedly sunken Sanmartiniana was allegedly spotted in the Malvinas Islands’ seas, news has surfaced that Cámpora activists flew an Argentine plane over the continental shelf in search of the vessel only to be intercepted by a British fighter jet.
Yes, one little but very expensive sailboat nearly caused a military spat.
Here’s what happened:
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter-bomber took flight soon after the Argentine plane hit the skies. Its mission was to identify the mystery plane and assure that it wasn’t “invading” the disputed airspace.
Once identified, it forced the Argentine plane to leave the zone.
Julio Urién, pilot of the aircraft — which technically belongs to the Interactive Foundation for the Promotion of Water Culture (Fipca) — took to the skies with the intention of tracking down the missing Sanmartiniana with a satellite view. The only view obtained, however, was the wings of a suspicious RAF bomber.
These details have now been officially confirmed by the British Ministry of Defense:
“The Ministry of Defense can confirm that, on the 24 September, a Typhoon plane pertaining to the Royal Air Forces took off from base Mount Pleasant in order to identify an unknown plane that was in the international airspace near the Falkland Islands.”
The administration board of Fipca also met with its president, pilot Urién, to hear the results of the intensive sky search for La Cámpora’s sailing boat. There were no positive results to report and the search is now officially off.
The boat remains tied up in Stanley Harbor and the Malvinas government has asked that its owners follow the appropriate steps to repossess this polemical pinnace.
For those of you who have completely forgotten about La Cámpora, can’t quite remember what the Sanmartiniana is and have no idea why this is important — here’s a quick re-cap:
- In mid-September, it was reported that the Sanmartiniana — a sailing boat pertaining to La Cámpora, Kirchnerite youth activist group famously founded by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s son Máximo — had sunk.
- Then it purportedly popped up near the Malvinas Islands and was towed to Stanley Harbor, where it has since been tied.
- No one was really sure whether this was fact or fiction, given that the only official confirmation of its appearance was a tweet by Gavin Short, a man serving on the Malvinas Legislative Assembly.
Now here we are in the latest twist of the Sanmartiniana saga — a near military incident between Malvinas rivals, Britain and Argentina, over a youth group’s sailing boat.