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.
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
- spoke of
- 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