Jerusalem swim lasts eight hours

NICOSIA (AFP) – A 39-year-old British man was rescued at sea trying to swim across the eastern Mediterranean from Cyprus to Israel, a distance of about 300 kilometers (186 miles), Cypriot police said yesterday. The man was spotted struggling in the water and calling for assistance on Saturday afternoon by a private yacht off the southeast coast of Cyprus. A Cyprus marine police launch was alerted and brought him to shore. The man told police he was trying to «swim to Jerusalem,» an inland city. The swimmer was about 10 kilometers, or just over 6 miles, from the shore, and had been in the water for an estimated eight hours when he was fished out. He received treatment for hypothermia at Paralimni hospital and spent the night at Ayia Napa police station. The man was released yesterday morning after Cypriot police consulted with the British Embassy in Nicosia. «We don’t know why he wanted to swim to Israel,» an embassy spokesman said. Police said the Briton claimed to have lost his passport at sea.