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giant water balloon lost in Med

Jan 1, 2003

Voyagers off the island of Cyprus this winter had to keep a sharp lookout for a drifting water balloon that broke free from its tug in December. The "balloon" contained an estimated five million gallons of water and measured more than 520 feet in length and 100 feet in width. It was being transported to Cyprus from Turkey for the island's freshwater supply by an Oslo, Norway-based company, Nordic Water Supply, when it broke free from the tug and drifted out of sight on Dec. 11. A simulated re-creation of how the process works is viewable on the company's web site: www.nws.no.

Drifting water bags apparently make poor radar targets because of their low freeboard. But a mid-ocean encounter with such a piece of flotsam would offer the benefit of topping off one's water tanks. Now, if only rum would be thus transported.


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