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Great preparations have been making daring the past few weeks for ah experimental balloon ascent from England to France across the channel. After waiting for favorable winds, on March 4 Colonel Brine and Mr Simmons determined to make their' projected balloon ascent at £anterbufy, where the balloon had been inflated with between 30,000 and 40,000 cubic feet of gas. All preparations having been made, the balloon was filled between ten and eleven o’clock, and it was determined to dispense with the boat which had been attached to

the car, as it might be an incumberance. At twenty minutes past eleven Colonel Brine and Mr Simmonds took their seats in the car, and after the ropes had been slackened a little to see if she lifted, the men who held them let go, and the balloon roseexactly at half past eleven. The balloon was not lost to sight for a considerable time : it was visible by means of telescopes up to about a quarter past twelve, when it was bearing straight for the coast. Folkestone was reached at a quarter to one, and at two it could be seen off Dover. It afterwards fell into the sea about nine miles south-east of that port, and the Calais boat Foam went to the rescue of the party. The boat hoisted a flag at mast-height, the balloon signalling back by dropping an anchor from the car. By this signal the captain of the Foam thought that there was something amiss, and went in the direction of the balloon full speed. Captain Jutelet-said, on approaching, •* Do you want me ?” to which Colonel Brine replied, “ Lower your boats.” This he did, and,went to their assistance, the balloon being by this time about two feet in the water. Captain Jutelet approached carefully, and the aeronauts boarded the steamer, but for some time he deemed it unadvisable to take the balloon on board on account of gas. For this reason he had several holes cut in the balloon to allow’ the gas to escape, and in a short space of time the crew w§re enabled-to take all the apparatus on board. Mr Simmons and Colonel Brine were in good spirits when picked up and were wearing lifebelts. They conversed freely with a* large number of people on* being 1 landed at the Admiralty Pier, Dover, and did not appear in the least disheartened, but stated their intention of again attempting the task. Great excitement prevailed on board the steamer and qn the shore at Dover, the Admiralty Pier being completely crowded. Captain Jutelet says it was five minutes past three when he first noticed the balloon, and at twenty minutes past three he had taken Colonel Brine and Mr Simmons on board and was proceeding towards Dover. When first sighted the balloon was going steadily in a S.S.W. direction, but when the Fo.un was about to pass it, the wind changed and rounded to W.S.W., with middling breeze, and he thinks he not been so fortunately at hand, it would have drifted towards the North Sea. Colonel Brine and Mr Simmons re* turned to Canterbury, both being much in need of rest. It is not contemplated to renew the attempt to cross the Channel at present. It is said that Mrs Brine in ended to accompany her husband, although she states she is by no means fond of aerial voyaging. She was, however, pre%-ented from going by Mr Simmons, who said it would imperil their lives to travel with three instead of two passengers.

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Bibliographic details

AN AIRY TRIP., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 642, 22 May 1882

Word Count

AN AIRY TRIP. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 642, 22 May 1882

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