A man trying to reach Bermuda Islands from Miami on foot in a home-made floating bubble has been rescued by the US Coast Guard after he began suffering from fatigue.
Reza Baluchi, an activist and endurance athlete of Iranian origin, intended to travel 1,033 miles on foot from Miami to Bermuda to Puerto Rico and back to the mainland US, to raise money for “for children in need” and “to inspire those that have lost hope for a better future,” according to his website.
He built a floating device for the purpose made of 3mm-thick plastic and aluminum framing, not unlike a hamster wheel. Baluchi planned to sleep in a hammock at night, complement his diet of protein bars with fish he could catch, and cool himself in the sea strapped to the bubble with a leash.
The Coast Guard first received reports of a man in a bubble on Wednesday, Florida’s 7th Coast Guard District reported. When they approached him, Baluchi seemed disoriented and asked for directions to Bermuda, but refused to leave the bubble.
On Saturday morning Baluchi’s Personal Locating Beacon was activated, and the guard, who continued monitoring his advance, dispatched an airplane and a helicopter to the rescue. He was picked up 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine and flown to Air Station Clearwater, where emergency medical services evaluated him. No injuries were reported in the operation.
Baluchi has made headlines many times before with previous efforts to break long-distance running and cycling records , including one six-month journey in which he ran around the perimeter of the United States, and a seven-year bike trip that he said brought him across 55 countries on six continents. His self-professed mission is to promote world peace and unity. His perimeter run was to raise money for a children’s hospital, according to his website.
Baluchi was granted asylum in the United States in 2003 after being arrested in Iran for so-called pro-Western and anti-Islamic activities, including eating during the holy month of Ramadan, according to his lawyer at the time, Suzannah Maclay. Baluchi served 1 1/2 years in jail for associating with “counterrevolutionaries” and was hung from a tree by handcuffs for carrying a prohibited movie, Maclay said. The Coast Guard described him as a U.S. Citizen.
The “Hydro Pod” is a large bubble made of 3-mm- (0.11-inch)-thick plastic, Baluchi’s website, “Run With Reza” says. The bubble, which he propelled forward by running inside and pushing it with his arms, was housed in a large aluminum-type frame studded at intervals with inflated soccer balls. A man who appears on a video during the bubble’s construction compares it to a hamster wheel.
Baluchi’s website says he tested the ‘Hydro Pod’ device back in 2013 by traveling from Newport Beach to Catalina Island. The 33-mile trip reportedly took approximately 12 hours, during which Baluchi lost 15lbs.
I suggest that there are more effective ways to cogently raise funds for Children’s Charities than set examples of unthinking plans of sheer nonsense. Whatever!