Search continues for missing balloon pilot

JUNEAU, Alaska- The Coast Guard continues the search today in the North Pacific Ocean for a balloon pilot reported missing approximately 435 miles south of Adak Island.

A C-130 Hercules rescue plane from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak is currently 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.

“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.”

Michio Kanda departed on a 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.

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