Photo: Ultra marathon runner Reza Baluchi in his hydro-bubble. (Facebook: Run With Reza)
A MAN’S attempt to “run” from Florida to Bermuda enclosed in a giant floating bubble has landed him in trouble with the US Coast Guard.
An amusing photo has emerged of the Coast Guard interrupting adventurer Reza Baluchi’s epic journey in an inflatable bubble that operates similar to a hamster wheel, which he named the HydroPod.
The 44-year-old Iranian planned to spend five months at sea in the bubble, travelling from the US through the Bermuda Triangle and onto Puerto Rico, Haiti and Cuba, to raise money “for children in need and to inspire those that have lost hope for a better future,” according to his website.
But when a Coast Guard crew spotted Baluchi bobbing in water off the coast of Florida without a support boat nearby — as should have been the case — his mission was thwarted and he and his bubble were tugged back to land.
And the Coast Guard took the whole thing pretty seriously
“This was an inherently unsafe voyage attempt that put the lives of Mr Baluchi and other mariners in danger,” Captain Austin Gould of the US Coast Guard wrote in a statement.
Officials said Baluchi was warned in a letter earlier this month he could face jail time and a hefty $52,000 fine if he embarked on the voyage without being trailed by a support boat.
But Baluchi defied those orders, officials said.
Captain Gould said he initially denied Baluchi’s request to enter international waters because having to rescue him would be risky for rescue crews and an expensive use of taxpayer’s dollars.
“This shows a lack of planning and concern for your life as well,” Gould said of Baluchi’s plans.
But this is not the first time Baluchi has attempted his bizarre marine voyage.
He refused to stop, but asked for help three days later, and was picked up about 112km off the coast at a taxpayer expense of more than $186,000, according to CNN.
On his website, Baluchi said he temperature inside the bubble could reach can get to almost 50C and he his strategy was to catch fish, eat protein bars and sleep in a hammock inside the bubble.
The vessel itself moved when he ran, similar to a hamster wheel.
“Being inside the Hydro Pod is not going to be a walk in the park, it will be very hot and humid. One can easily dehydrate quickly and lose breath,” he wrote.
Baluchi is a noted adventurer — he claims to have run across the US twice, and once around its perimeter.
He was born in Iran but fled to the US to escape persecution, eventually becoming an American citizen.
Baluchi previously told CNN he had spent five months in a federal detention centre after he was confronted by border officials in the Arizona desert in 2002.
He was denied a visa and entered the US illegally, but claims he got lost while riding his bicycle through the desert