Tourists rescued from wayward hot air balloon in Napa County

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More than a dozen tourists found themselves stranded in a hot air balloon, forcing first responders to jump into action in Napa County. (KGO-TV)

More than a dozen tourists found themselves stranded in a hot air balloon, forcing first responders to jump into action in Napa County.

Napa Valley Balloons Inc. says the group was on a tour with the Mondavi Winery. They set off early in the morning and ended up off course. The CHP says strange winds out of the north may have been to blame. It was a CHP flight officer who noticed they landed in a tough spot.

"There's sloughs and ponds all around there, there's no road access no trails, basically they're on an island," said CHP Flight Ofc. Tom Lipsey.

Officer Lipsey gave the balloon pilot the bad news that he and his passengers had no way out by car or on foot.

"He said he was low on fuel and he didn't think he would be able to lift off out of there," said Lipsey.

Officer Lipsey called in the CHP helicopter which was on a training exercise at Lake Berryessa. And in groups of three, the 16 passengers and pilot were lifted to safety.

"They got a nice balloon ride and a free helicopter ride," said Lipsey.

The balloon company said the passengers were never in any danger.
Related Topics:
newsrescuehot air balloon crashwine industrywineNapa
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