Brazilian Priest Who Tied Himself to 1000 Balloons Was Found Dead in the Ocean Months Later

A Roman Catholic priest who tied himself to 1000 helium-filled party balloons to set a new record and raise money for a chapel was found dead in the ocean three months after he took off.

According to CBS News, “Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli set off from the Brazilian port city of Paranagua on April 20 strapped to 1,000 helium-filled balloons in an attempt to raise money to build a rest stop and worship center for truckers.”

“When de Carli, took off that fateful day he was wearing a helmet, aluminum thermal flight suit, water proof coveralls and parachute and was seeking to break a record for the longest time in-flight with party balloons. The experienced skydiver, who had survival and wilderness training, was also carrying a GPS tracker and a radio so he could report his position to the Brazilian Navy and air traffic control.”

Father Antonio, 41, wanted to break the 19-hour record to win money that he could use to fund a spiritual rest stop in Paranagua – a Brazillian city where the country’s largest grain port is located.

Despite taking off with full precautionary measures and attaching a GPS tracker to himself, Antonio went missing nearly eight hours after he took off. Before going missing, his contact with the port authority members was also lost.

“The 41-year-old Roman Catholic priest soon lost contact with his ground team, and the cluster of yellow, orange, pink, and white balloons was found in the water a day later,” per The Guardian.

As soon as he went missing, the officials sent rescue teams to search for him in boats, planes, and helicopters. The teams looked for Father Antonio in the ‘stretch of the ocean and densely forested mountains.’

According to Reuters, De Carli flew only 55 miles before losing contact with his team on the ground.

“De Carli’s seat was lined with air-tight pockets that can be pumped up and there are several islands in the region that he could have washed up on,” Deputy Fire Commander Joao dos Santos Junior told the outlet.

De Carli was an experienced skydiver who had taken proper survival and wilderness training, and this wasn’t his first time doing such a daring stunt.

“The priest embarked on a similar adventure on Jan. 13, when he used 600 balloons to carry him on a four-hour, 17,390-foot-high voyage from the town of Ampere to neighboring Argentina, where he landed safely.”

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Sources: CBS NewsReutersThe Guardian

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