Authorities on Monday were investigating the circumstances under which a contract soldier was critically injured during helicopter training.

The 27-year-old special forces contract soldier was hospitalised with brain swelling and spine fractures after the accident.

Defence ministry spokesman Christos Pieri said the man jumped from the helicopter as part of a scheduled exercise and fell into the sea in Lara area in Akamas.

He was rescued by a boat according to the scenario of the exercise, Pieri added, but was found to be unconscious.

The young man was taken to the accidents and emergency department at Paphos general. Due to the seriousness of his condition, he was later transferred to Nicosia general hospital.

The accident comes about a month after a female contract solder died following a road accident during national guard duty in Nicosia.