A Filipino captain of a merchant ship has been arrested on charges of rash navigation after his vessel collided with a stationary Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship that sank on Tuesday.
Police are also probing if sabotage was involved and ICG has also instituted an inquiry to establish what exactly had happened on the day of the incident.
"The Panamanian vessel Global Purity's captain Sarigumba Sarjeovillas, who allegedly lost control over his ship and caused an accident, was arrested yesterday," said M Kurde, Inspector of Yellow gate police station.
Following the accident, the sophisticated Rs 300-crore Coast Guard ship developed cracks, tilted to one side and sank. The 74x12 meter Coast Guard vessel was anchored when the merchant ship crashed into it.
Filipino captain Sarjeovillas was booked under sections 280 (Rash navigation of vessel) and 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) of Indian Penal Code, Kurde said.
The Panamanian vessel Global Purity had collided with the stationery coast guard ship 'Vivek' that was undergoing repairs at berth No.10 of Indira Docks.
"We are also probing the incident from all angles including the possibility of a sabotage. The captain of the merchant ship, in his statement, claimed that he lost control of the ship due to less depth near the Indira Dock following which his ship hit the Coast Guard vessel," Kurde said.
ICGS Vivek was a 20-year-old platform inducted in the Coast Guard on August 19, 1989.
"We have recorded the statements of all 16 crew members of the merchant ship who claimed that it was purely an accident," Kurde said.
The statements of 20 of 59 crewmembers of ICG who were on the ship Vivek had also been recorded, he said.
Taking serious note of the incident, ICG was inquiring into the matter to ascertain the chain of events that led to the merchant vessel to venture so close to a defence vessel and hit it.