A British F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter of the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (RO8), operating in a routine joint exercise with the United States, has crashed into the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The pilot was able to eject from the stricken aircraft and was picked up and returned safely to the carrier.

“A British F-35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” read the MoD statement.

A source from the Royal Navy said the accident occurred shortly after the pilot took off from the carrier.