U.S. aircraft based in Italy joined the search for two Americans competing in an international balloon competition after their balloon went down off the east coast of Italy during rough weather last week, according to media reports.
Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were participating in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race when race officials lost contact with them Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
U.S. Navy officials in Italy received a request Thursday afternoon from the Italian government to help in the search, and sent a C-26 aircraft based in Naples to assist. On Friday, the Navy dispatched a P-3 aircraft from Sigonella and the Air Force sent a C-130 to continue the search, according to a Navy spokeswoman.
The Italian Coast Guard said a group of eight divers equipped with underwater cameras searched the area in the Adriatic on Saturday. According to the AP, Lt. Massimo Maccheroni, an Italian Coast Guard spokesman, said “hopes of finding them alive after four days at sea are close to zero.”