Error in communication between the naval ships that were entering the harbour after a sortie for the family's day out had reportedly led to the collision near Sunk Rock Light House off the Mumbai coast on January 30.
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Godavari, which was travelling in front of INS Vindhyagiri, was not in sync with the convoy's formation and did not adhere to the instructions given out by the lead ship, thus, causing the collision, sources in the police department said. This contradicts the first information report filed by the naval authorities at the Yellow Gate police station.
“We cannot come to a conclusion at the moment. If needed, we will question the captains of the ships involved,” said DCP (Port Zone) Quaiser Khalid.
Naval authorities have not given details about the convoy, instructions issued by the lead ship, or about INS Godavari being not in sync with the convoy's formation.
Petros Valneo, the captain of MV Nord Lake, in his statement to the police, has given minute-by-minute details of how the collision took place.
The lead ship of the naval convoy had given instructions to all naval ships about MV Nord Lake's presence, and had asked them to let it pass from the right hand side.
But INS Godavari was not in sync with the formation and asked MV Nord Lake to pass from its left at the last moment. This caused confusion between MV Nord Lake and MV Sea Eagle, which was scheduled to head towards the Mumbai port, and MV Nord Lake altered its course by more than 60 degrees.
INS Vindhyagiri, which had adhered to the lead ship's instructions and was in sync with the convoy's formation, had little time to alter its course, and MV Nord Lake that was traveling at 7.5 knots (13.8 kmph) collided into it. Captain Manohar Nambiar, chief defence spokesperson (Western Naval Command), said: “It would be improper to comment at this juncture. Let the police complete investigations.”