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Branson sends commiserations to balloon adventurer

Sir Richard Branson has sent his commiserations to fellow balloon adventurer Jonathan Trappe who was forced to stop his bid to cross the Atlantic using helium balloons after a technical fault.

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Commiserations to Jonathan Trappe, who has abandoned his UP-style cluster balloon crossing. I know how you must feel! http://t.co/MZ2lnE9ZuE

Technical fault scuppers Atlantic balloon crossing

It appears Jonathan Trappe's Atlantic balloon crossing has been halted after the adventurer was forced to land after a technical fault.

Jonathan Trappe photographed after crossing the English Channel in his aircraft in 2010. Credit: Press Association

A representative from Barcroft TV said Jonathan was safe but it looked as though his bid to travel across the Atlantic, using 370 balloons filled with helium, will not continue.

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Track helium balloon Atlantic crossing online

Adventurer Jonathan Trappe's bid to cross the Atlantic using helium balloons is being tracked online. You can view Jonathan's progress via a website that is following his journey, which began from Caribou, Maine on Thursday morning.

Jonathan Trappe photographed after crossing the English Channel in his aircraft in 2010. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The 39-year-old is relying on 370 helium-filled balloons as he attempts to complete the 2,500 mile trip, which should take between three to five days. Due to weather his final destination is not known.

Adventurer aims to cross Atlantic by using balloons

An adventurer has started his challenge of becoming the first person ever to cross the Atlantic ocean by using helium balloons - in a real-life version of Disney's hit film 'Up'.

Jonathan Trappe, 39, will rely on 370 colourful balloons as he attempts to complete the 2,500 mile trip which should take between three to five days.

Watch: Nine-year-old girls become world's youngest wing-walkers

Despite heavy fog, the aviator achieved lift-off at 6.20am this morning from Caribou, Maine but his final destination is still unknown. The flight had been delayed by 100 days due to adverse weather conditions.

Before the launch, Mr Trappe said: "Weather is absolutely the most dangerous factor. But it's a double-edged sword. It's the only thing that will carry me across, but bad conditions could also ruin the attempt or endanger my life."

The adventurer already holds the record for the longest ever cluster balloon flight at 14 hours and crossed the English Channel in May 2010 by using balloons.

Disney's 2009 hit animation film 'Up' tells the story of widower Carl Fredricksen, who tied thousands of balloons to his house in a bid to see the world.

Read: Adventurer's bid to live on remote rock for 60 days

Transplant woman joins ocean race

Double-lung transplant patient Justine Laymond.
Double-lung transplant patient Justine Laymond. Credit: PA

A double-lung transplant patient has taken on more than 2,000 miles of ocean in one of the toughest legs of a round-the-world yacht race.

Justine Laymond, 39, endured exhaustion, tropical storms and rough seas in the Atlantic during her four weeks competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

She decided to join a relay team of transplant patients, surgeons and specialist nurses in the race to raise awareness of the difference an organ transplant can make to a seriously ill person.

Her life was transformed by a double-lung transplant she underwent in 2006 after suffering 15 lung collapses and being in a coma for three weeks.

Her achievement at sea was something she said she could never dream of back then, but that her experience has taught her to "live life for today".

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