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.
“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.