Hunt for US balloonists

COAST guards are hunting for two missing American balloonists last detected piloting their craft over the Adriatic Sea in rough weather, officials said yesterday.

Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were participating in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race, an annual race in which teams of balloonists try to see who can fly the farthest from a set point on a maximum of about 1,000 cubic meters (35,300 cubic feet) of gas.

Abruzzo is the son of famed balloonist Ben Abruzzo, who was part of the first team to cross the Pacific Ocean by balloon, in 1981, and was killed in a small airplane crash in 1985.

Italian coast guards said a search was under way for the balloon, one of 20 that set off last Saturday from Bristol.


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