After an eight hour search in the Pacific Ocean off Peru, emergency responders rescued five women on Sunday who were stranded in icy cold waters after their hot air balloon crashed. Peruvian officials say two men remain missing.
“I hope we can find them as soon as possible. The two are still missing. We only know that one of them tried to swim ashore. The search will continue, even through the night, until they are found,” Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza told local media.
During the interview Pedraza did not tell reporters what caused the mishap. He did however say that the women were rescued and the search for the men is ongoing.
Using a police helicopter and navy boats, emergency respondents were able to pull the women out of the Pacific Ocean after a long, arduous search. The women were rushed to the hospital and treated for injuries.
Reports state that the balloon was red and white and was carrying six passengers plus a pilot. It was floating near Canete about 60 miles south of Lima, the capital of Peru.
Peruvian media stated that all those aboard the balloon were natives to the country and none were tourists.
Generally hot air balloon travel is safe. There are accidents, like in all modes of transportation, from time to time.
A few months ago, a hot air balloon touring an Egyptian city plummeted approximately 1,000 feet onto the ground below killing most of its passengers on impact. Reports stated that only two people survived, one was a native Egyptian and the other was a tourist.
All but two of the people aboard the hot air balloon were tourists who were simply attempting to get a better view of the Egyptian city of Luxor. Aboard were two Egyptians and 19 foreign passengers: nine touring from Hong Kong, four from Japan, three from Britain, two from France and one from Hungary, according to officials.
A day following the crash nineteen of the passengers were declared dead.
A British tourist and the pilot of the craft managed to survive but were injured and were rushed to the hospital where medical professionals helped them recover.
If you are hesitant to ride aboard a hot air balloon make sure to ask the operator for a maintenance schedule of the craft. There is less of chance that the balloon is going to crash if it is well maintained. If you crash on a body of water, stay put until rescuers arrive, especially in dangerous conditions.
Peruvian Hot Air Balloon Ride Crashes in Cold Coastal Waters