NEWS
04/29/2014 09:50 EDT | Updated 06/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Runway beer blimp believed to have burst over New Brunswick

It is believed a beer blimp that broke loose in Saint John on the weekend has deflated and landed somewhere near the city, says an official with the brewery that owns it.

A grid search by air is now being carried out to search for the large zeppelin, said Wade Keller, director of Labatt Breweries for Atlantic Canada.

"It's the only one we have," said Keller.

"The manufacturer believes in all likelihood it has landed somewhere in New Brunswick, not all that far from Saint John, and we are actively looking for it."

Keller would not disclose the value of the blimp.

The two-storey, 21-metre-long blimp in the design of a hockey goal light was hovering about 30 metres over a Budweiser promotion on Hockey Street in Saint John on Saturday when the wind started to gust, said Keller.

The people handling the blimp started to lower it on its tether, he said.

"The people handling it were lowering it when a wind gust caused it to break loose as it was being lowered and it floated away."

Keller said the company has not discussed a reward for anyone who finds the blimp.

"It's something we'd have to think about," he said.

"The main thing for us is nothing was damaged. No one was injured."

Transport Canada's Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADOR) issued a Notice to Airmen alert for the Moncton airport and the Saint John flight service station on the weekend about the blimp, which was last seen travelling northeast at approximately 11 km/h at an altitude of 1,200 to 1,500 metres. It was expected to descend somewhere near Sussex, N.B.

Keller said the manufacturer of the blimp, Mobile Airships Inc., of Brantford, Ont., said the air pressure at higher altitude would cause it to rupture. It would then slowly deflate and sink to the ground, with wind speed and direction determining where the deflated blimp would float before landing.

Labatt is now carrying out a grid search by air.

"It is a challenge, for sure," said Keller.

"The zeppelin is large, but so is New Brunswick."

Mobile Airships Inc. referred all questions to Labatt, citing a confidentiality agreement with the company.

MORE:cbcNews