12 Rescued After Hot-Air Balloon Goes Down in Ocean

<i> Associated Press</i>

A hot-air balloon plunged into the Pacific off Southern California on Monday evening, but all 12 people on board were rescued and no one was seriously injured.

The rented balloon went down at 5:45 p.m. in Fletcher Cove, about 25 miles north of San Diego, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mike Behner.

Behner said one person suffered minor hypothermia and was taken aboard a Coast Guard helicopter about 6:45 p.m. The other 11 people were ferried back to shore by lifeguards. None of the passengers required medical treatment, Behner said.


The balloon, owned by Encinitas-based California Dreamin’, was out for a routine sunset ride when the winds took a dramatic shift, said Kyle Childers, the balloon’s crew chief.

Childers said pilot Pete Brunner realized he could not make it to land and set the balloon down on the water. Some of the passengers got wet but none were submerged in the ocean, Childers said.