Coast Guard Arrests Florida Man Attempting Atlantic Crossing in Giant Hamster Wheel

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  • Coast Guard Arrests Florida Man Attempting Atlantic Crossing in Giant Hamster Wheel

    A 44-year-old Florida man got into trouble when U.S. Coast Guard officers swooped in to grab him during his courageous and audacious effort to traverse the hazardous seas of the Atlantic Ocean to reach London.

    When Coast Guard personnel deemed Reza Baluchi's attempt to cross the Atlantic in a makeshift hamster wheel "manifestly dangerous," they took immediate and robust action. Baluchi is now facing federal charges after the spectacular rescue 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia coast.

    Baluchi's unorthodox boat resembled a giant metal drum and was driven by a runner inside via inflated buoys and paddles. However, Coast Guard officers had severe reservations about the vessel due to its unconventional design. A criminal complaint states, "USCG officials decided Baluchi was undertaking a manifestly hazardous cruise based on the vessel's condition, which was afloat due to the wires and buoys."
    Florida man arrested by Coast Guard for trying to cross Atlantic in human-sized hamster wheel

    — Global News (@Fashion6001) September 6, 2023

    The officials from the Coast Guard were trying to stop Baluchi from continuing on his dangerous voyage when things took a disturbing turn. According to reports, Baluchi said he had a bomb on board and threatened to kill himself with a 12-inch knife, leading to a lengthy standoff. Baluchi's capture at the USCG Base in Miami Beach, Florida, on September 1 after days of careful talks.

    It was not Baluchi's first time engaging in risky behavior. According to official reports, Coast Guard actions prevented him from completing the mission in 2014, 2016, and 2021. Baluchi is now facing multiple federal charges related to his latest antics, including obstruction of boarding and disobeying a Captain of the Port's orders.

    Baluchi attempted to explain his actions in an exclusive interview with FOX 35. He said he was trying to help people experiencing homelessness, the Coast Guard, the police, and the fire departments, among other philanthropic organizations. Baluchi said, "I'm not only trying to help the homeless; I also want to help the Coast Guard, the police, and the fire department. They serve the public, ensure the safety of others, and aid those in need."

    Baluchi has not been discouraged by his arrest or his unsuccessful efforts. He declared to himself, "I'll never give up my goal," and he sounded determined. Four or five times, they've tried to stop me, but I've never given up.

    Baluchi's unconventional and high-risk initiatives have piqued the public's interest, prompted legitimate safety concerns, and burdened emergency services' resources. Baluchi's several brushes with the Coast Guard highlight the thin line between bold ambition and carelessness at sea.

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