Wednesday, April 23

Fundraising priest disappears after floating away on 1000 helium balloons

A Brazilian priest named Rev. Adelir Antonio di Carli took off Sunday from the coastal city of Paranagua in southern Brazil, buoyed by 1,000 helium-filled balloons. Unfortunately, less than eight hours after taking flight, Fr De Carli lost contact with authorities and was reported missing.

He was seeking to break a 19-hour record for the longest time in-flight with balloons and to raise money for a 'spiritual rest stop' for truckers in Paranagua.

The cluster of yellow, orange, pink and white balloons was seen last night, floating intact in the sea off Santa Catarina state near Fr di Carli's last contact point.
The priest embarked on a similar adventure in January this year when he used only 600 balloons to carry him on a four-hour, 5,300m-high voyage from the town of Ampere to neighbouring Argentina.

According to the CBC in Canada, some people are criticizing the fundraising stunt:
Meanwhile, a flight instructor who expelled di Carli from flight school three years ago has publicly criticized the priest for his stunt, Gancia said.

"He called him undisciplined and an exhibitionist, and he was always bragging about his faith and how his faith was going to carry him and take him safely through his journey. And that's not what happened."
He was reported to have been strapped into an inflatable chair, wearing a thermal outfit and helmet. He also had a parachute, however rescuers admit that hope is fading.

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