Portugal’s military prosecutor’s office charged 13 sailors, who on Saturday had refused to participate in a mission at sea on the NRP Mondego unit for monitoring a Russian warship, and disobeyed orders.
The incident occurred north of the island of Porto Santo on Saturday evening. In an issued statement, the sailors had claimed the raging storm and the technical malfunctions occurring on the NRP Mondego hindered them from being able to carry out the task for fear for their lives.
On Wednesday, the military prosecutor’s office reported that further to the charges, the prosecutor’s office banned the sailors from leaving the deck of their vessel.
Portuguese naval authorities said on Tuesday that they had begun a condition survey of the NRP Mondego, a vessel that sailed as a Danish navy ship named HDMS Glenten between 1992 and 2010 which Portugal acquired in 2014.
Until now, naval authorities claimed that the vessel was in good condition.
The sailors accused of disobedience, who include four non-commissioned officers, claim their innocence. In an issued statement, they said the ship had recently suffered several malfunctions including damage to the engines and to one of the power generators as well as numerous oil spills.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Portugal’s defense ministry announced several times that the country’s naval units had been sent on a mission to monitor Russian warships in the Atlantic that pass within the vicinity of the country’s territorial waters.