CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (FOX5)–
Some San Diego surfers came to the rescue of newly engaged couple Sunday when, just after the man popped the question, the hot air balloon dipped into the water off the coast of Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
The hot air balloon hovered low over coastal homes in Cardiff just before sunset after experiencing altitude issues, according to Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles. Wind patterns shifted and then pushed the balloon over the ocean.
The pilot dropped the balloon’s messenger line down to surfers in the water who helped hold the balloon in place to stop it from blowing farther offshore until lifeguards arrived, Giles said.
One of the passengers did not know how to swim and was the first to be rescued by lifeguards.
According to the lifeguard captain, the man aboard the balloon proposed to his girlfriend before the balloon started having problems.
Lifeguards towed the hot air balloon, pilot, and newly engaged couple to shore.
“Yeah this is pretty crazy. It was pretty wild. We just talked to hot air balloon people; they’re really great people. They take safety very seriously, and for whatever reason, the atmosphere conditions changed and took them over the water,” Mark Burnz of Burnz Eye View said. He was one of many witnesses to the emergency landing and captured the rescue on video, which he shared with Fox 5.
Giles said the last time lifeguards came to the rescue of a hot air balloon was 14 years ago.
San Diego local Amy Wright caught video of the emergency landing.