Reza Baluchi runs on water – sort of. And the Coast Guard isn’t happy about it.
Baluchi’s most recent attempt to “run” from Florida to Bermuda via an inflatable bubble/paddleboat contraption he dubbed the “HydroPod” was cut short by the Coast Guard, who towed him back to land, far short of the intended five months he was planning on being at sea. His goal: To raise “money for children in need and to inspire those that have lost hope for a better future.”
The Coast Guard had ordered Baluchi not to take to the sea earlier this month, warning him his vessel was unsafe. It’s unclear when he departed, but he was picked up Sunday for the second time.
This isn’t the first time Baluchi has attempted this stunt: In 2014, the Coast Guard received a report about a disoriented man in a bubble off the coast of Miami, reportedly asking for directions to Bermuda. He refused to stop, but requested help three days later, and was picked up about 70 miles off the coast of St. Augustine, at a taxpayer expense of $144,000.
Baluchi (who claims to have run across the U.S. twice and around its perimeter once), fled Iran after briefly serving in the army and crossed Europe and various other countries as a cyclist before arriving in the U.S. in 2002.
Baluchi had planned to catch fish and subsist on protein bars while inside his bubble, which occasionally reaches temperatures as high as 120 degrees. It also has a hammock, which is where he said he intended to sleep during the 1,033 from Pompano Beach to Bermuda.