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Feb-02-2008 03:59printcommentsVideo

Balloonist Attempting Record Flight From Japan to Oregon Feared Missing (VIDEO)

Michio Kandia had checked in every two hours with a satellite phone. The last message was received shortly after he crossed the International Date Line, early Friday.

Missing Balloonist Michio Kanda
Missing Balloonist Michio Kanda
Photo courtesy: skynet-1.com

(JUNEAU, Alaska) - The Coast Guard is continuing its search in the North Pacific Ocean for Michio Kanda. a balloon pilot reported missing approximately 435 miles south of Adak Island.

He was trying to top a long-distance world record of 4,767 miles (7,671 km) according to the Anchorage Daily News. He also wanted to exceed a duration record he had set in 1997 by flying 50 hours, 38 minutes from Alberta in Canada to Montana in the US.

Michio Kanda was reported missing after he failed to check in with his support team by satellite phone, shortly after crossing the International Date Line.

At this point, a C-130 Hercules rescue plane from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak is searching the balloonist's last known position. The Coast Guard Cutter Rush was diverted from a patrol in the Bearing Sea and the CGC Jarvis is underway from Kodiak to join the search for Mr. Kanda.

"We immediately issued an urgent radio broadcast requesting assistance from any mariners that may be in the area," said Commander Michael Trimpert, Chief, Incident Management Branch, 17th Coast Guard District, "we have also requested assets from Canada and Japan to augment our search efforts."

C-130 Hercules rescue plane from Coast Guard Air
Station Kodiak Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Michio Kanda departed on the solo flight Wednesday across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Oregon. The Coast Guard was alerted Wednesday by Derek Hancock of Oregon after Kanda failed to check in on his communication schedule.

The Rush and Jarvis are 378-foot high endurance cutters stationed in Honolulu.


This is a video interview with Lt. j.g. Kristin Payne, public affairs officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis. The Jarvis departed Kodiak February 1st to join the search for a missing Japanese balloonist.(U.S. Coast Guard video by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson/Courtesy: YouTube)

Video




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