A Florida man intending to travel from Florida to Bermuda in an inflatable bubble has been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard – again.
Long-distance runner Reza Baluchi was rescued off Florida on Sunday, while his hydropod was taken ashore, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.
In an April 15 letter from the Coast Guard, Baluchi was warned not to undertake the journey without a support boat – and was told he could incur a fine of $40,000 and also face imprisonment – but he chose to ignore it. The letter had instructed Baluchi not to undertake the journey “because your vessels and the conditions under which you are attempting to complete your voyage to Bermuda is unsafe.”
According to his website, Baluchi had planned to be at sea for a period of five months in a bid to raise “money for children in need and to inspire those that have lost hope for a better future,” his website states. The website also said that his latest expedition would have a boat accompanying him, but there was no sign of one when he was rescued, the New York Daily News reports.
In a statement, Captain Austin Gould said, “This was an inherently unsafe voyage attempt that put the lives of Mr. Baluchi and other mariners in danger.”
Baluchi was previously rescued in 2014 by the Coast Guard when they were informed about a disoriented man asking directions for Bermuda. He said that his beacon had gone off accidentally, and that he didn’t want any help.
“I see some helicopter coming,” he had said. “Some person come in front of my bubble and kick my bubble. “You ok? You need emergency doctor?” I say, “no.””
As reported by CNN, a HC-130 airplane, MH-60 helicopter and the vessel Maersk Montana were sent to rescue him (he was found 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine), an operation that cost $144,000.
CBS News reports that Baluchi was exiled from Iran and was granted asylum in the U.S. in 2003. He has said that he has run the perimeter of the United States twice.
In his latest adventure, he said that he had planned to survive on protein bars and sleep on a hammock within the pod. From the Pompano Beach, he would travel 1033 miles to Bermuda Triangle; he would then travel to Puerto Rico, Haiti and Cuba and finally return to Florida.