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The Coast Guard has arrested a Florida man for attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a "human-powered hamster wheel," according to court documents.
Reza Baluchi was 70 miles off the Georgia coastline when officers discovered him during a "manifestly unsafe voyage." He was apparently out there while Hurricane Franklin was headed toward the sea, according to the Coast Guard's statement on X.
The Coast Guard mentioned that the human hamster wheel "was afloat as a result of wiring and buoys." The release mentioned that Baluchi was arrested August 28 after a "bizarre three-day standoff" with the authorities.
NBC News reported the Coast Guard said that Baluchi refused to get off his invention, revealing "two knives and threatened to hurt himself" if officers decided to board the vessel. The man also "threatened to blow himself up," which prompted the Coast Guard to contact the Navy to determine the location of the explosive. But Baluchi eventually said that there was no bomb.
Baluchi told the Coast Guard that he intended to travel to London in his "hydro-pod" invention. However, this is apparently not the first time the man has had a run-in with the authorities. In 2014, he was found 70 miles off Florida in what has been described as an inflatable bubble in an attempt to run around the Bermuda Triangle.
He has been charged with obstruction of boarding. The report stated that court filings indicated he had signed the condition of a $250,000 bond. And his attorney has been ordered to appear.
The BBC reported Baluchi was arrested in 2021 after trying to travel on his contraption from Florida to New York, drifting 30 miles south of his departure point.
According to a previous statement, Baluchi claims that he was attempting the voyages to raise money for a slew of causes, including for the Coast Guard and the homeless.
"My goal is to not only raise money for homeless people, raise money for the Coast Guard, raise money for the police department, raise money for the fire department," he said in 2021.
"They are in public service, they do it for safety, and they help other people."
Vice made a short documentary about Baluchi's "bubble" contraption in 2020, where Baluchi explains why he set out to create the contraption and why he wanted to use it to "walk on water."
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