Tuesday, October 3

No Transatlantic Crossing for Reza Baluchi

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Reza Baluchi, a 51-year-old adventurer who now lives in Florida after being granted asylum from Iran, isn’t going to make it across the Atlantic after all.

The Coast Guard stopped him last week, 70 miles east of Tybee Island, Georgia, as he was trying to pedal his homemade hamster-wheel-like vessel from Pompano Beach to London. It was at least Baluchi’s third attempt to do so, and it probably will be his last, since he now faces federal charges of obstructing the Coast Guard, among other things.

The Coast Guard cutter Valiant came across Baluchi on a routine patrol as he was pedaling in his giant wheel in the ocean. A criminal complaint later filed in U.S. District Court in Florida said, “Based on the condition of the vessel – which was afloat as a result of wiring and buoys – USCG officers determined that Baluchi was conducting a manifestly unsafe voyage.”

But when the Coast Guard approached Baluchi, things went from bad to worse. At first, he held up a 12-inch knife and said he would kill himself if they boarded his craft; later, he held up two wires and said he had explosives on board and would blow up the boat if they boarded it.

A standoff at sea lasted for almost three days before Baluchi gave up and climbed on a Coast Guard boat. He said there never had been explosives on his craft. The Coast Guard carried him to Miami to face charges. They also sank his vessel.

None of Baluchi’s earlier efforts at a transatlantic got very far. And a 2014 attempt to pedal to Bermuda misfired when a boat owner called the Coast Guard saying he had just passed a man in a bubble asking for directions to that island. The Coast Guard stopped that trip also.

Read more at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12487165/Adventurer-trying-cross-Atlantic-Ocean-Florida-Britain-home-giant-hamster-wheel-arrested-just-70-miles-journey.html and see a video of Baluchi’s Bermuda attempt:


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