US balloonist taken from sea


Adventurer Steve Fossett was rescued yesterday after a fall of thousands of metres into the South Pacific that ended his fourth attempt to fly around the world in a balloon.

Australian rescue officials said the millionaire adventurer was picked up by the ketch Atlanta shortly before 12.30 Irish time after a day drifting in a raft in the Coral Sea.

"When the balloon ruptured, at 29,000 feet, my first reaction was disappointment that I wasn't going to fly around the world," Fossett told Australian television. "But then, as I continued my descent, I realised I was more concerned about just living."