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Pic: Coast Guard arrests man in giant hamster wheel on ocean

US Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead (U.S. Coast Guard/Released)
September 06, 2023

During an audacious attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean to London by “running” in a homemade hamster wheel, a Florida man was apprehended by U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Reza Baluchi, age 44, found himself under arrest after Coast Guard officers deemed his voyage “manifestly unsafe,” according to a criminal complaint. Rescued 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia, Baluchi now faces federal charges.

According to Fox News, the vessel that Baluchi had fashioned for his journey was a colossal metal drum equipped with inflatable buoys on each side and paddles that were powered by the runner inside.

Coast Guard officials stated, “Based on the condition of the vessel—which was afloat as a result of wiring and buoys—USCG officers determined Baluchi was conducting a manifestly unsafe voyage.”

When Coast Guard officials attempted to cut short his voyage, Baluchi threatened to take his own life with a 12-inch knife and claimed to have a bomb on board. After days of negotiations, Baluchi was safely taken into custody at the USCG Base in Miami Beach, Florida, on September 1.

This was not Baluchi’s first attempt at such a daring feat. Officials reported that he had tried similar voyages in 2014, 2016 and 2021. All of these attempts were reportedly thwarted by Coast Guard intervention. Baluchi faces federal charges that include obstruction of boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port order.

READ MORE: Pic: US Coast Guard rescues man stranded on island in Bahamas for 3 days

In an exclusive interview with FOX 35, Baluchi revealed that his actions were intended to raise funds for various charitable causes, including aid for homeless people and support for the Coast Guard, police, and fire departments.

“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. They are in public service, they do it for safety, and they help other people,” he stated.

Undeterred by his arrest, Baluchi vowed, “I’ll never give up my dream. They stop me four or five times, but I never give up.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.