April 20, 2008 was a fateful date for the inhabitants of Paranaguá, Paraná, in Brazil. The cause? What was to be a day to raise funds turned into a tragedy. A 42-year-old priest flew with a backpack and a parachute in a special chair that was suspended in the air by 1000 helium balloons Y fell off abruptly.
With the expectation of publicizing the Pastoral Church of the Highwayswhere he celebrated masses, and to be able to raise money to build a rest center for truckers, Adelir Antonio de Carli he summoned all the television media and hundreds of faithful to see the moment of the feat. He was wearing a thermal flight suit to regulate his body temperature., a helmet, GPS, waterproof clothing, food and a cell phone to communicate with emergency authorities. Once prepared, He “took off” and made the message clear that he was going to make it.
Although at first the sky was filled with colors and those present applauded to support it, after a few hours everything changed: Despite his experience in skydiving, de Carli did not take into account that the weather factor was going to be against him and, precisely for this reason, his story had a fateful outcome.
The winds, the rain and the darkness caused it to become disoriented and it entered towards the coasts of San Francisco del Sur Santa Catarina. He was at a distance of 6000 meters high when contacted police officers for help8 hours after takeoff. From that moment on, the air force and the navy mobilized against the clock to find his whereabouts.
“We believe that it is still alive, there are many islands in the region,” it said. Joao dos Santos Juniordeputy commander of the Fire Department, in the middle The capitalthat day. It was already evident that the priest’s route was diverted due to the weather and people already knew that he was never going to reach the west of Paraná, the destination where he was going to conclude his feat.
“We believe that it would have drifted towards the coastal towns of Penha and Picarra, further south. LThe current in the sea is very strong”, added the man in the interview.
Denise Gallascoordinator of the Paranaguá Highway Pastoral, mentioned to the same outlet that the father’s last contact with the church was at 7:40 p.m. on Sunday, about seven hours after his departure. “I was already over the sea”held.
Every minute that passed the search for Adelir intensified and more agencies joined to locate it: fishermen, the army, firefighters, police and hundreds of volunteers. On the coast of the Brazilian state, the balloons where it was suspended hours before began to be displayed. However, he was not there.
According to Gallas, no one imagined that everything would end that way. The reason? The priest had already successfully performed other similar events. For example, on January 13, 2008, it flew supported by 600 balloons from Ampere, in the state of Paraná, to the municipality of San Antonio, Misiones, Argentina. He did a total of 110 kilometers without problems.
“He saw an American who flew 19 hours carrying balloons, and since our priest is brave, he said he could stay in the air longer. Unfortunately, the wind changed and carried him towards the sea, but we have faith that he is fine because he is a very determined person, with great physical and mental capacity, in addition to the fact that he made a great plan for the project”, he concluded.
Because de Carli didn’t get back in touch, her loved ones and emergency services were discouraged. Nevertheless, some commanders argued that there was still a chance of finding him alive. Although the search was exhausting and constant for a few more days, finally on April 29 the Brazilian Navy canceled the plans and stated that it was impossible to locate it.
The public hearing echoed the news and everyone was aware of his whereabouts. However, as the months passed, little by little other items on the agenda diverted his attention.
Three months later, On July 4, 2008, again the headlines featured Adelirbut this time because of the alert that they had found a body 100 kilometers from Macaé. Everything indicated that it was him, but they had to do the pertinent investigations to confirm it.
“The lower half of a human body was found floating on the surface of the ocean by a support vessel for an offshore oil platform,” detailed the local media. The agency Reuters reported on July 4, 2008, that the remains belonged to the priest. “They were identified from the clothing as belonging to de Carli. DNA tests confirmed they were his.after a comparison was made with his brother’s DNA samples,” they specified.
In this way, what tried to be a festive day and a feat that would mark the history of Adelir, ended up becoming a true misfortune. To date, no event with such characteristics has been recorded and on the commemorative date of his death, the church where he worked remembers him with nostalgia.