A Florida man named Reza Baluchi has been arrested for attempting to travel from Florida to London by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a homemade vessel that resembles a hamster wheel. The US Coast Guard intercepted Baluchi about 70 miles off the coast of Georgia on August 26th. This is not the initial time he has undertaken such a voyage, as his earlier attempts also ended with Coast Guard intervention.
The vessel Baluchi applied is shaped like a wheel with paddles that propel it forward as the wheel revolves. Nonetheless, the US Coast Guard deemed his voyage manifestly unsafe due to the situation of the vessel, which was kept afloat by wiring and buoys. Baluchi refused to leave the vessel for 3 days and even threatened to kill himself. He also claimed that there was a bomb on board, which was later determined to be fake.
Immediately after getting brought to a Coast Guard base in Miami, Baluchi ultimately surrendered and abandoned his vessel on September 1st. He is now facing federal charges of obstruction of a boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port order. It is unknown whether or not Baluchi has obtained legal representation for his criminal case.
This is not the initial time Baluchi has faced legal problems for his oceanic endeavors. In 2014, he had to be rescued from a equivalent contraption close to St Augustine, Florida, and two years later, he was once more rescued off the coast of Jupiter, close to Palm Beach. Baluchi claims that he undertakes these voyages to raise funds for numerous causes, which includes the homeless, Coast Guard, police division, and fire division.
Though Baluchi’s intentions may perhaps be noble, his solutions and vessels have confirmed to be unsafe and problematic. His repeated attempts and interactions with law enforcement highlight the need to have for correct organizing, security measures, and adherence to regulations when pursuing unconventional ventures like crossing the ocean in homemade contraptions.