search
You're in the navy now

British forces recruit Israeli yacht for at-sea drill

Benny Atias says UK military chopper hovered over his boat near Cyprus, as soldier descended in complicated maneuver

Illustrative: Israeli boats take part in the Sail Tel-Aviv Yafo sea festival featuring various sea sports, on June 17, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90/ File)
Illustrative: Israeli boats take part in the Sail Tel-Aviv Yafo sea festival featuring various sea sports, on June 17, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90/ File)

An Israeli yachtsman making his way to the Jewish state from Cyprus said he joined a British naval drill upon the request of the UK forces.

Benny Atias of “Soul Yacht” told Channel 12 that he was contacted by the British military on Thursday while at sea and was asked whether a British helicopter could practice a complex maneuver over the vessel.

After confirming his participation, a British chopper hovered over the yacht and a Royal Navy soldier descended to the yacht on a rope.

“The guy who descended was very professional. He said hello and it’s nice to meet you, but nothing more,” said Atias.

Posted by ‎יאכטה סול – Soul yacht‎ on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

“I’m in the field for 10 years and I never experienced anything like this,” he added.

Atias noted that the British navy frequently queries civilian ships to participate in its drills in the area, though he had never previously been contacted.

The UK retained two military bases on Cyprus after the eastern Mediterranean island gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960.

Agencies contributed to this report.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed