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Hot Air Balloon in southern Utah forced into ‘wet landing’

KANAB, Utah –This past weekend marked the date for the annual Balloons and Tunes Round-Up in southern Utah, and it was smooth sailing–until one hot air balloon was forced into an unexpected wet landing.

The whole scene was captured on camera by KSL Photojournalist Matt Newey, who was along for the ride with his girlfriend Carlie Ann Gallagher.

“The weather was looking really good,” he said. “We took off, then started floating, and there was a couple of balloons ahead of us. It was gorgeous — one of the most beautiful views. Super pretty.”

After the group was up in the air for a little bit, things quickly changed.

“We started coming over this reservoir area,” Newey told KSL. “You could kind of feel it. It was like we hit this wall of wind and we just started dropping and descending really quickly, and [the pilot] was like cranking.”

Newey said it was at that point the pilot told everyone they were about to get wet.


They hit the water and were told to stay inside. The pilot was able to level everything out and get the balloon out of the water.

“It all happened so quick,” said Gallagher. “All of a sudden, we were really close to the water, and then all of a sudden, my feet and whole body was wet.”

“It was ice-cold water,” said Newey. “On the shore was ice, we were going through ice. We were chilled to the bone.”

The two said everyone made it back to dry ground safely and they plan on attending the event again next year.

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