A Japanese balloonist who was making a second attempt to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles was found dead Saturday in waters off the coast of Japan, a spokesman for the Maritime Safety Agency said.

The agency recovered the body of Fumio Niwa, 40, from the gondola of his 60-foot helium-filled balloon which splashed down about 240 miles off a peninsula south of Tokyo.The cause of the adventurer's death is still unknown, but an autopsy was to be conducted as soon as the body was brought ashore.

A rescue boat and aircraft were dispatched after Niwa radioed for help approximately 6 hours after he took off from Yokohama.