Dramatic rescue as hot air balloon drifts off to sea

Passengers were pulled from the balloon basket as it hovered close to the water in Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne. Picture: Coast Guard Melbourne/Twitter
Passengers were pulled from the balloon basket as it hovered close to the water in Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne. Picture: Coast Guard Melbourne/Twitter

Trouble has struck a hot air balloon ride in Melbourne, Australia, early this morning after the balloon ran low on fuel and began drifting out to sea.

Ten people were believed to be riding in the balloon when its fuel supplies ran low near the Melbourne bay suburbs of Black Rock and Mentone and drifted about 500 metres offshore into Port Phillip Bay.


In a dramatic rescue, nine people jumped from the balloon's basket into a police boat as the balloon hovered about 20 metres above the water.

The pilot was understood to have stayed behind in the deflating boat.

By about 10am, the balloon managed to reach the shore and landed safely.

Large crowds gathered near the shore to watch the dramatic event unfold.


Onlooker Bill Brown, of Cheltenham, said he noticed the balloon flying very low about 8am.

"It was just after 8 o'clock when we saw it coming out over land," he told the Herald Sun.

"It was up really high trying to get the breeze I guess. It as unsuccessful and it just drifted ever so slowly out to sea."

Separately, another hot air balloon ran into trouble this morning, making a surprise landing in a suburban street at Aspendale Gardens.

Resident Cheyne Chalmers told the ABC she woke to a loud burner noise and looked out the window to see the balloon in the street.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 07 Dec 2016 10:24:47 Processing Time: 1002ms