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Last updated at 18:22 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

Bodies of missing balloonists found


6 December 2010

Italian officials say the bodies of two Americans who were flying a hot air balloon have been found off the Adriatic coast. Richard Abruzzo and Carol Davis were in a balloon race, when they were caught in bad weather.

Duncan Kennedy

Balloons being prepared att he start of the Gordon Bennett balloon race, Bristol, UK


Click to hear the report:


It was on September the 25th that Richard Abruzzo and Carol Davis set off from Bristol, in the west of England, with 19 other balloonists in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon race. The aim of the race is to see who can fly the furthest.

Five days later the pair, who were highly experienced, radioed the port authorities in the Italian city of Brindisi to say they were in difficulties. They spoke of the balloon falling quickly. Contact was lost soon after.

Search crews using ships and aircraft spent a week looking for them. But now, more than two months later, a fishing boat has found their basket with the remains of the couple inside. Documents with them confirmed their identities.

The authorities believe their balloon could've been struck by lightning and may have hit the water at 80 km an hour.

Duncan Kennedy, BBC News


Click to hear the vocabulary:


set off

departed or left


people who fly hot air balloons




made contact (with someone) using a radio device

in difficulties

having problems

spoke of

mentioned that

contact was lost

they stopped communicating

search crews

rescue teams who look for lost people

the remains

the dead bodies

hit the water

crashed into the water

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