This information was shared with Lusa agency by a Navy source.

This action led the Navy to consider that the 13 operatives "did not fulfil their military duties, usurping functions, competences and responsibilities not inherent to the respective posts and positions".

"These facts are still being investigated in detail, and the resulting discipline and consequences will be applied accordingly", said the Navy, in a note sent to Lusa.

According to a document prepared by the 13 operatives in question, to which Lusa had access, on Saturday night the 'NRP Mondego' received an order to "monitor a Russian ship north of Porto Santo", at a time when weather forecasts "pointed to swell of 2.5 to 3 metres".

According to these 13 soldiers, the commander of the 'NRP Mondego' himself "assumed, before the garrison, that he did not feel comfortable leaving with the technical limitations" of the ship.

Among the various technical limitations invoked by the military was the fact that an engine and an electric power generator were inoperative.

He added, according to the 13 military personnel, that the ship "does not have an adequate sewage system to store oily residues on board, which accumulate in the holds, significantly increasing the risk of fire".

In the note sent to the Lusa agency, the Navy confirms that the 'NRP Mondego' had "a malfunction in one of the engines", but mentions that the mission it was going to carry out was "of short duration and close to the coast, with good meteorological and oceanic conditions".

The Navy also mentions that the ship's commander reported that, "despite the limitations mentioned, it had safe conditions to carry out the mission".

According to the Navy, the ship's commander's decision was made despite the fact that the Naval Command had given him freedom to abort the mission "in case of supervening need".

The Navy underlines that the "assessment of the priorities of the missions and state of the ship follows a well-defined and structured hierarchical line", and "it is only up to the Navy, and its hierarchical line, to define which ships are in a position to comply with assigned missions".

With regard to the technical limitations of the 'NRP Mondego', the Navy refers that warships "can operate in a very degraded mode without impact on safety", since they have "very complex systems".