Bodies of balloonists found

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 05:26

La Repubblica is reporting that the bodies of two balloonists who were travelling in a hot air balloon which disappeared off the Adriatic coast of Italy on 29th September have been found . The balloon, containing the bodies, became entangled in the net of a fishing vessel off Vieste, [Gargano, Puglia] this morning.

The balloonists, Richard Abruzzo [47] from Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dr Carol Rymer-Davies [65] of Denver, Colorado, were competing in the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race in which competitors aimed to fly as far as possible from the launching site in Bristol, UK. Both were experienced balloonists.

The last contact which the Italian Coastguard received from the balloon, the “USA 2”, was at 08.00 on 29th September, by satellite phone. The balloonists said they were having some problems and were quickly descending into the sea. There were high winds and rain in the area that morning and the sea was rough.

The Italian and Croatian military launched a wide search, with help from US and Greek search teams but no trace of the balloonists was found.

Italy Magazine is thinking of the balloonists’ families at this time.