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Search for Flying Priest Scaled Down

April 25, 2008 04:26 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Brazilian rescue teams are narrowing operations to find Father Adelir Antonio de Carli, who blew out to sea after strapping himself to 1,000 helium-filled balloons.

30-Second Summary

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The missing Roman Catholic priest took off Sunday from the coastal city of Paranagua. Equipped with flotation equipment, a satellite phone and GPS, the clergyman was blown off course Sunday night and has been out of contact since early Monday morning.

So far, a bundle of balloons discovered Wednesday off the coast of Brazil has been the only sign of Father Carli.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Brazilian air force ended its search Friday, while firefighters continue to scour the beaches and islands where he is likely to wash up. However, authorities say it is increasingly unlikely that the priest will be found alive.

Father Carli was trying to break the 19-hour world record for most hours flying with balloons in order to raise funds to build a rest stop for truck drivers traveling through Paranagua.

Although the priest isn’t the world’s first “cluster ballooner,” his charitable intentions do distinguish from his lawn-chair toting predecessors. For example, Los Angeles native “Lawn Chair Larry,” or Larry Walters, ascended to 16,000 feet by attaching his Sears chair to 45 balloons in 1982.

Then in 2007, an Oregonian gas station owner named Kent Couch strapped 105 balloons to his lawn chair, riding it all the way to 13,000 feet.

Headline Links: Rescue teams call off search for missing priest

Video: ‘Priest Goes Missing During Balloon Flight’

Related Topics: Lawn Chair Larry and Kent Couch

Reference: Danny Deckchair

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