A Turkish coast guard vessel entered Greek territorial waters in the Imia maritime area in the eastern Aegean Sea at around noon on Saturday.

According to information by the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG), the incident ended rapidly as the Turkish patrol boat withdrew from the area after being notified by the HCG.

Specifically, Greek Coast Guard officers notified the crew of the Turkish vessel that they had sailed into Greek territorial waters, at which point the Turkish vessel left without causing any problems.

Imia refers a pair of small uninhabited rock islets in the eastern Aegean near the north Dodecanese island of Kalymnos and the western Asia Minor mainland.

In 1996, Turkey, which abruptly disputed Greek sovereignty over the islets at the time, landed special forces on one of the rocks, an action that eventually led to a tense military standoff between the two NATO member-states before a US-brokered initiative to de-escalate the situation. During the incident, three Greek naval aviators lost their lives when their surveillance and maritime support helicopter went down near the islets during a night-time mission in particularly inclement weather.

Recently, the Greek state honored the memory of the three fallen servicemen, Christodoulos Karathanasis, Panagiotis Vlachakis and Ektoras Yialopsos.