Man's "Wheelie" Ambition to Reach London Foiled Again – In a Bubble!

Photo byFlagler County Sherriff

Florida, September 6, 2023 - When it comes to determination, Reza Baluchi takes the cake, or in this case, the wheel! This adventurous Florida man has a singular goal in mind – to "run to London" across the vast Atlantic Ocean. How does he plan to achieve this extraordinary feat? Well, it involves a homemade vessel that closely resembles a hamster wheel, and it's nothing short of comical.

Reza Baluchi's nautical odyssey was anything but smooth sailing. On August 26, the US Coast Guard had to swoop in when they found him approximately 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia. You might wonder, what's so peculiar about a guy attempting to cross the Atlantic in a hamster wheel? It's not the vessel itself; it's the determination to make it work!

Baluchi, a 44-year-old marathon enthusiast, refused to abandon ship for three whole days! Yes, you read that right. Despite previous failed attempts – and we'll get to those – Baluchi clung to his dream, or should we say "wheel," with unmatched tenacity.

Now, let's dissect his unique mode of transportation. Picture a giant hamster wheel, but instead of a fluffy rodent, it's a grown man inside – that's the essence of Baluchi's vessel. This makeshift contraption features paddles meant to propel it forward as the wheel revolves. Admirable innovation? Or questionable sanity? We'll leave that judgment to you.

In the eyes of the US Coast Guard, Baluchi's adventure was more "manifestly unsafe voyage" than groundbreaking innovation. The vessel, floating thanks to some wiring and buoys, hardly passed their safety check. Baluchi's oceanic ambitions were further complicated by the looming threat of a major hurricane.

But wait, there's more! Baluchi took his determination to the next level. Not only did he refuse to disembark, but he also reportedly threatened to blow up his peculiar craft. It turns out the bomb threat was as homemade as his vessel – a fake, officials later confirmed.

Ultimately, Baluchi came to his senses and surrendered on September 1st. He decided that the Atlantic adventure could wait, especially after a free trip to the Coast Guard base in Miami. Now, he's facing federal charges of obstruction of a boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port order. One can't help but wonder if his next homemade vessel will be a "getaway bubble"!

This isn't Baluchi's first aquatic escapade. In 2021, he was rescued after attempting to journey from Florida to New York but ended up drifting 30 miles south of his starting point. And that's not all! In 2014, he had to be rescued near St Augustine, followed by another rescue near Palm Beach in Florida two years later.

Why does he do it, you ask? Well, according to Baluchi, it's all for a good cause. He claims these wild voyages are meant to raise money for the homeless, the Coast Guard, the police department, and the fire department. In his own words, "They are in public service, they do it for safety, and they help other people."

So, while Reza Baluchi's dreams of wheeling his way to London may have hit a few bumps, his indomitable spirit and his quest to aid those in need continue to make waves – sometimes quite literally!

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