Oct 5, 2010 8:24 AM by Associated Press

Family thanks searchers looking for missing balloonists

The family of missing Colorado balloonist Carol Rymer Davis released a statement Monday thanking searchers for their efforts to find her and a balloonist from New Mexico missing in the Adriatic Sea.

The Italian coast guard called off the search Monday after a final attempt to locate Richard Abruzzo, of Albuquerque, N.M., and Carol Rymer Davis, of Denver, had failed.

The veteran pilots were flying in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race when contact was lost Wednesday.

Race organizers said the two plunged toward the water at 50 mph and likely didn't survive. Since then, search and rescue teams with the Italian coast guard, the U.S. Navy and Croatian coastal aircraft crews have been scouring the Adriatic Sea.

Over the weekend, divers joined in the search, as hope was beginning to fade.


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