An Italian port official says the remains of two American balloonists missing over the Adriatic since September 29 have been found by a fishing boat.
Cmdr. Guido Limongelli of the port of Vieste in southern Puglia says the fishing boat hauled in the balloon cabin with the bodies of the Americans still on board early Monday.
He says documents found in the cabin confirmed the identities of Richard Abruzzo of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Carol Rymer Davis of Denver, Colorado.
The two were participating in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race when contact was lost September 29 as they flew over the Adriatic.
Search crews looked for the veteran balloonists in vain for nearly a week before determining their balloon had plunged toward the water at 50 mph.
Davis' family released a press release Monday.
From the Family of Gas Balloonist Dr. Carol Rymer Davis
Carol's family, including her daughter Heather Davis Benavidez, Event Organizer for the Colorado Balloon Classic, was informed Sunday night of the discovery of the USA2 gondola and the remains of both Carol and her co-pilot Richard Abruzzo. This was always something that was hoped for in the back of everyone's mind since it provides an end to this drawn out tragedy for both families. As avid members of the ballooning community, Carol and Richard would be pleased that anything that can be learned by experts from today's discovery will lead to a safer experience for all balloonists. John (Carol’s husband), Heather and Marne (Carol’s and John’s daughters) all express their thanks to the fishermen and the authorities in Italy who made the discovery and who are now conducting the necessary investigations.
The family thanks the media for continuing to respect their privacy during this difficult time.