Florida man tried piloting giant floating hamster wheel in the Atlantic

Florida man tried piloting giant floating hamster wheel in the Atlantic

Florida man never fails to impress and entertain, but the most recent story out of the Sunshine State is on another level. The U.S. Coast Guard found Reza Baluchi, a marathon runner, 70 nautical miles off the coast of Georgia last month. While that wouldn’t usually be a problem, he was found in a homemade “Hydro Pod,” a human-sized floating hamster wheel that he claimed would take him all the way to London.

Baluchi was covering his trip on his own YouTube channel, as you can see from the initial live video above. The Coast Guard was not impressed with Baluchi’s “manifestly unsafe” stunt, but he wasn’t ready to go down without a fight, or at least threats of one. He said he would kill himself with a large knife if anyone tried to arrest him, and he lied to officials, telling them he had a bomb on board.

Baluchi’s eventual arrest took three days. Though it’s a great story, this incident isn’t the most interesting part of the guy’s misadventures. His attempt at a transatlantic journey in a bootleg boat wasn’t the first time he tried – and failed – to pilot the thing long distances over open water.

In 2021, he launched the “boat” in Florida in an attempt to reach New York. The stunt landed Baluchi in the national news cycle for a while, but he only made it 25 miles out of the 1,200 or so nautical miles he needed to cover. Officials note two other “attempted voyages,” one in 2014 and the next in 2016. The previous legal actions prohibited Baluchi from operating the Hydro Pod, stating that it was unsafe and needed to be inspected.

Court documents state that Baluchi failed to comply with those orders, leading to a charge for violating a captain of the port order. He also picked up a charge for obstruction of a boarding for his behavior. It’s unclear if officials will charge him for the fake bomb statements or the knife threats.

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