Florida man headed for London in hamster wheel-type vessel arrested by Coast Guard

A Florida man — who else, right? — was arrested recently by Coast Guard officials who intercepted his reported journey to London on a hamster wheel contraption some are calling a Hydro Pod.

Reza Baluchi, 44, was hit with federal charges after he was rescued 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia by Coast Guard officials, Fox News reported.

“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,” the criminal complaint read.

Baluchi was unable to provide officials with the required registration for his vessel, according to the complaint. After informing the Coast Guard he was on his way to London, Baluchi was told his voyage was being cut short and that’s when he allegedly threatened to kill himself with a 12-inch knife. He also claimed to have a bomb aboard, according to the complaint

The drama played out for several days before Baluchi finally admitted on September 1 that he did not have a real bomb and officers were able to get him to disembark at the USCG Base in Miami Beach, Fla., according to Fox News — he was first encountered on August 26.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had an encounter with the vessel some two years ago, as seen in the tweet below — Baluchi was reportedly trying to navigate from Florida to New York in the Hydro Pod:

A Run with Reza Facebook page offered this update several weeks prior to his interrupted August voyage:

“This year’s vessel is more sturdy and takes to the ocean well! Yesterday, off the East coast of Florida, Reza was able to run in the ocean for a couple of hours, checking stability, audio transmissions, etc. There was a problem with the SPOT device, which is vital to his safety and being able to communicate any issues with the team,” the post said.


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