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PRC hot-air balloonist falls short of Tiaoyutai
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-02 12:22 PM
Japanese media have reported that a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat rescued a 35-year-old Chinese man whose hot-air balloon had ditched in the East China Sea in waters near Tiaoyutai. The man had reportedly been making an attempt to land on one of the islets in the disputed island group but fell short of his goal.

According to a report from Japan's 11th Region Coast Guard Headquarters the wayward balloonist is a chef from China’s Hebei Province. He is said to have taken aloft from a spot in Fujian province the morning of January 1, intending to steer his hot-air balloon to Tiaoyutai for a landing.

At around 13:25pm Wednesday afternoon authorities in Taiwan alerted the Japanese Coast Guard to the presence of an unidentified male in the area and requested the Coast Guard to provide assistance. The Japan Coast Guard dispatched two patrol boats and a helicopter to search in waters about 22 km south of Tiaoyutai and found the Chinese man and his hot air balloon at about 15:15pm Taiwan time. The Japanese have reportedly turned the balloonist over to a ship from China’s Maritime Authority.

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