Last week's close encounter between the naval warships of India and Pakistan on the high seas caused damage to INS Godavari after PNS Babur brushed past it.

A helicopter net was damaged when the Pakistan ship moved close to INS Godavari, coming from behind. PNS Babur was escorting Egyptian merchant vessel m.v. Suez, which was released several months after having been held hostage by Somali pirates.

Interacting with correspondents after a function here, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma said the Indian naval ship was going at a particular speed and the other ship approached from the rear.

“It must have tried to pass at a certain distance... but it didn't happen as it turned up very close…we operate helicopters from ships and keep helicopter nets down [during landings]. One of our helicopter nets got damaged,” he said adding the Pakistani ship came much closer than what was considered prudent by those operating ships in the seas.

Issue taken up

The Navy Chief said India already raised the issue with appropriate authorities. New Delhi had lodged a protest with Islamabad and given photographs in evidence of PNS Babur's dangerous manoeuvres.

Admiral Verma said the Indian warship was sent to the Gulf of Aden region to reassure Indian sailors who were on board the merchant vessel and those taken hostage by the pirates.

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