Florida man arrested trying to ‘run’ across Atlantic to London in giant hamster wheel vessel


A Florida man who tried to cross the Atlantic in a vessel that looks like a giant hamster wheel has been arrested.

Reza Baluchi, 51, had built a large metal drum or “hydro-pod” in an attempt to “run” from Florida to London.

US authorities intercepted him 70 miles off the coast of Georgia on August 26 just before the arrival of Hurricane Idalia.

Coast guard officials deemed the pod to be “manifestly unsafe” and kept afloat by buoys and wiring.

During a three-day standoff, Mr Baluchi allegedly threatened to blow up his pod and threatened to kill himself.

He eventually surrendered and was taken to a small vessel before being brought ashore on September 1.

Mr Baluchi now faces federal charges of obstruction of a boarding and violating a Captain of the Port’s order.

 (Flagler County Sheriff’s Office)
(Flagler County Sheriff’s Office)

He told FOX35: “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.

“I’ll never give up my dream. They stop me four or five times, but I never give up.”

Mr Baluchi said he had spent $4,500 (£3,600) to design and build his pod and has attempted similar trips in 2014, 2016 and 2021 - all of which were thwarted by authorities.