Hot air balloon in Australia – level 3
Drifting out over the ocean, a hot air balloon with 9 people on board is rescued by a passing boat. The balloon ended up floating over the Port Phillip's Bay in the Australian state of Victoria after it ran low on fuel and wasn't able to land properly.
"We just got up there and I think the wind just didn't really behave the way they were expecting and just couldn't quite get it to land so we drifted out over the bay."
There were fears the balloon could ditch into the ocean, but the passing boat saw it and made its way over. The pilot was then able to offload the passengers one at a time.
"Lucky enough that just a couple of blokes on the bigger boat that we landed on just happen to see us coming down. So they followed us all the way out and did an awesome job of getting us all off safely 'cause that was the hard part – as soon as someone jumped out the balloon took off again. So it was sort of a bit of balancing act of getting people out yet not tipping it at the same time."
Once the passengers were safe, the balloon was light enough for the pilot to safely land on a beach. He's received a lot of praise for his actions.
"I think it was good on behalf of the pilot on the hot air balloon, as well because he kept calm. And that was the most important thing – just keeping everyone calm and we got everyone off the boat, off the hot air balloon onto the boat and then offloaded them to the Federal Police boat."
No one was hurt, but it wasn't the peaceful balloon trip the passengers were expecting.
Difficult words: drift (to be carried slowly by air), ditch (to make a forced landing on water), bloke (a man), praise (admiration, respect).
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