Man who tried to cross ocean in human hamster wheel banned from sea

Man who tried to cross ocean in human hamster wheel banned from sea

Reza Baluchi described his contraption as "the bubble"

Flagler County Sheriff's Office

A man has been arrested in Florida after he tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a giant hamster wheel.

Reza Baluchi, an Iranian athlete, got about 70 miles off the Georgia coast until he was spotted in the contraption by the US Coast Guard.

He then proceeded to have a nearly three-day standoff with the USCG, in which he refused to leave the hamster wheel, claiming he wanted to keep going to London.

Eventually, authorities extracted him from the vessel, which was judged to be “manifestly unsafe”, and took him back to shore.

Baluchi, 51, embarked on his bizarre voyage days before Hurricane Franklin hit parts of the Caribbean and the US east coast.

When authorities caught up with him, he “replied that he was armed with a 12-inch knife and would attempt to commit suicide should the USCG officers attempt to remove him,” court documents said.

Baluchi then threatened to blow himself up if he was removed from the hamster wheel.

“USCG officers again ordered Baluchi off the vessel, but he again refused. It was then that Baluchi informed the USCG officers that the bomb was not real.”

Incredibly, this is not Baluchi’s first run-in with the Coast Guard. His last voyage, in 2021, ended in a similar way, after he tried to reach New York from Florida in a human-powered ball.

His trip was curtailed when he realised he had forgotten his GPS and charging cables, and he was forced to return to the shore.

As court documents state, Baluchi may not "go to the ocean or board a vessel on the ocean'" as a result.

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