Sinking feeling: hot air balloon passengers jump on boat

Nine passengers had to jump from a hot air balloon on to a passing boat amid fears it was about the crash into the ocean. Footage shows how the passengers on the balloon, which was low on fuel, are helped to safety by people on the boat in Port Philip Bay in Melbourne. The balloon hovers just above the vessel for most of the rescue on Saturday morning. The vessel was being used by a family of wakeboarders, who then took the passengers to a fire brigade boat.

The first lady was quite distressed when she came off, then we took it two passengers at a time to account for the weight ratio.

18-year-old Jack Abbott

With all the passengers off, the pilot was able to keep the balloon airborne for longer and, after being passed more fuel by emergency services, landed it successfully on a nearby beach after several attempts. None of the passengers were injured. The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard said on its Facebook page that the balloon “came dangerously close to crashing in Port Philip”. Balloon pilot Peter Wright, told the ABC that the whole situation had gone “smoothly” and said the passengers were “fabulous, very cooperative and calm”. He said he never ran out of fuel but supplies were running low.

The pilot did a magnificent job at landing the hot air balloon 5 times on the bow of a recreational vessel, he off loaded 2 passengers at a time.

Australian Volunteer Coast Guard