Reza Baluchi, a 44-year-old Florida man, was arrested by the Coast Guard while trying to traverse the Atlantic in a human-sized hamster wheel. He intended to “run” from Florida to London, England, in this unique watercraft. His vessel was intercepted 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia, and Baluchi faces federal charges.
- The human-sized hamster wheel, described as a large metal drum buoyed by inflatables and powered by the runner inside, was deemed “manifestly unsafe” by the US Coast Guard.
- Baluchi threatened self-harm and claimed to have a bomb when Coast Guard officers attempted to intervene, but later admitted the bomb claim was false.
- This wasn’t Baluchi’s first attempt; he made similar efforts in 2014, 2016, and 2021, all resulting in Coast Guard interventions.
- He is facing federal charges, including obstruction of boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port order.
- Baluchi’s stated goal for his water voyages was to raise money for charity, including contributions for the homeless, the Coast Guard, police, and fire departments. He insists he will continue pursuing his dream regardless of the challenges.