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Washington man rescued after lawn chair balloon flight

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:10 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2013

LA CENTER, Wash. >> Joe Barbera had big plans for his 60th birthday. He wanted to fly 268 miles in a lawn chair carried by balloons.

But Northwest Cable News reports the La Center, Wash., man had to be rescued just before noon on Saturday after getting stuck 40 feet up in a tree near the Lewis River in Washington.

Barbera had started the day with challenges. First some of the 100 balloons he was using to get his lawn chair in the air popped.

To overcome that problem, he ditched most of his equipment — including oxygen, supplies and even his shoes — so he could get his lawn chair in the air.

At one point the chair made it to 20,000 feet, which was a problem because Barbera had no oxygen. He was hoping to make it over the Cascades but his chair started slowly dropping. Then he lost radio contact.

But the adventure had a good ending when he was safely rescued from that tree.

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