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Florida Man Arrested for Trying to Cross Atlantic in Hamster Wheel

Reza Baluchi, 51, hoped to “run” across the ocean to London in a giant hamster wheel.

Most people can't think of a worse situation than being stuck inside of a hamster wheel. However, not one Florida man, who was so adamant about crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a giant hamster wheel, that he threatened to kill himself after authorities intervened. Here is what you need to know about the unusual story at sea. 

Reza Baluchi Wanted to "Run" Across the Ocean


Reza Baluchi, 51, had hoped to "run" across the ocean to London in a giant hamster wheel. 

The Coast Guard Intercepted Him


However, he was intercepted by the US Coast Guard when Hurricane Franklin threatened the Eastern Seaboard. Instead of complying, he did everything he could to evade them. 

He Only Made it 70 Miles off the Georgia Coastline


According to reports, Baluchi only made it 70 miles off the Georgia coastline when he was threatened by the US Coast Guard on August 26. 

When He Was Approached by the Coast Guard, He Said He Had a Bomb, According to Officials


Authorities maintain that he threatened to kill himself. He also alleged to have a bomb on board. 

Officials Determined He Was Conducting a "Manifestly Unsafe Voyage"


"Based on the condition of the vessel — which was afloat due to wiring and buoys — USCG officers determined Baluchi was conducting a manifestly unsafe voyage," states a criminal complaint filed in the US district court in Florida.

He Refused to Surrender for Three Days


Coast Guard officials spent three days trying to persuade Baluchi to board a Coast Guard vessel. 

He Finally Surrendered in Miami


He finally confessed he did not have a real bomb and surrendered to officers on Friday at the Coast Guard base in Miami Beach.

He Is Facing Criminal Charges

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He will face charges of obstruction of boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port's order.

This Isn't His First Attempt

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This isn't the first time Baluchi has attempted to cross the ocean in the hamster wheel, which he refers to as a "hydro pod" or bubble. 

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All Others Have Been Thwarted


All other attempts, including one in 2021 that made national news, have been blocked by the Coast Guard – a group he says he is trying to support. "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," Baluchi told FOX 35 at the time. "They are in public service, they do it for safety, and they help other people."

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