Bodies of missing US balloonists found at sea off ItalyBy DPA, IANS
Monday, December 6, 2010
VIESTE - The bodies of two missing US hot-air balloonists have been found off Italy’s Adriatic Sea coastline when the wreckage of their balloon was caught in the nets of a fishing trawler.
The pair, Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis, were last heard of Sep 29 when they sent a distress signal to air traffic controllers in Brindisi that their aircraft was rapidly losing altitude in bad weather.
Officials at Vieste said the trawler caught the gondola and balloon in its nets early Monday morning, some 17 km north of the port.
The body-suits designed for high-altitude the two were wearing, helped in part to preserve their corpses from decomposition, officials said. Documents found in the wreckage appeared to confirm the balloonists, identities.
At the time of their disappearance, Abruzzo, 47, and Rymer Davis, 65, were competing in a long-distance race which began Sep 25 in Bristol, Britain.
Davis and Abruzzo were participating in the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race. The objective is to travel the furthest distance on one fill of hydrogen gas.