Japanese Balloonist Missing Over North Pacific, With Enough Provisions for 3 Weeks

A Japanese adventurer attempting a 5,600-mile trip in a hot air balloon from his country to Oregon has been missing for nearly a week, prompting a Coast Guard search.

Michio Kanda, 58, vanished Thursday over the North Pacific Ocean but has a pod-like life raft and enough food to keep him alive for at least three weeks, the Coast Guard said Monday. So far, searchers have found no sign of him.

"He could last awhile out there," Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Johna Rossetti said.

Kanda has been attempting to guide his balloon from Tochigi, Japan, to Portland, Ore. His last known position was 435 miles south of Adak, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Large cargo planes were used to search by air, with plans for a sea search Tuesday by a Coast Guard cutter.

Kanda was one day into his 60-hour trip aboard "The Starlight," a giant balloon 15 stories high and 150 feet wide. He was hoping to become the first Japanese balloonist to cross the Pacific Ocean.