During a patrol mission over the Ionian Sea, Lithuanian pilots received a message about an accident from the coordination center of the Greek city of Kalamata in early hours of Thursday.
According to preliminary information, the call for help came from people aboard a small two-masted yacht that reported malfunction of the rudder system.
The Lithuanian crew, on a mission to guard the external border of the European Union (EU), started searching for the yacht amid a 20 knot wind.
According to the report, the Lithuanian helicopter crew located the yacht with the help of thermovision camera within 12 minutes. The yacht sailing under the Turkish flag was in the Ionian Sea some 45 nautical miles (83 km) from the Greek coast.
After reporting the discovery to Greek rescue services, the Lithuanian helicopter stayed above the adrift yacht and kept in touch with the Greek services to report its location.
Two patrol vessels of the Greek coast guard shortly arrived at the scene along with the nearest ship sailing under the flag of Malta. After making sure that the Turkish yacht crew were rescued and the boat was towed to the port, pilots of the State Border Guard Service continued their patrol.
The Lithuanian Eurocopter helicopter has been involved in international operations aimed at illegal migration in the Mediterranean Sea since 2008.