VENICE (LALATE) â€“ The bodies of Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis are believed found. Missing balloonists Richard Abruzzo, son of famed balloonist Ben Abruzzo, and Carol Rymer-Davis, died in September during a rapid descent of their balloon after a start in the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race. Now Italian officials believe their bodies have been found in the Adriatic sea.
Fisherman found two bodies in the deep underwater early this morning along with documents believed to identify the balloonists. The bodies were found a mile from the spot in which the pair disappeared during September’s race, deep in the sea’s waters.
In September, flight director Don Cameron told news today that tracking data indicates the balloon â€śappears to have suffered a sudden and unexpected failure.â€ť He claimed the balloonists fell 5300 feet, at 50 mph, to an altitude of 600 feet. At that point, they dropped off the radar.
Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis won the Gordon Bennett cup in 2004 from Thionville, France to Vannas, Sweden, but crashed in 2005. Abruzzo, 47, was from Albuquerque; Davis, 65, was from Denver.
On the Saturday of the race, the team started from Bristol, England. They disappeared Wednesday morning off the Italian coast. Italy search and rescue forces dispatched military resources at the time. Four coast guard ships, a helicopter, military planes, and a long range plane station were used to aid in the search.
Family members are en route to Italy to identify the bodies.