just when I thought I had read of every possible asinine endeavour
By David Mccormack and Alexandra Klausner
5 October 2014
The daredevil adventurer whose attempt to ‘run’ more than 1,000 miles from South Florida to Bermuda in an inflatable bubble had to be aborted after he got lost is extremely unhappy that his pod wasn’t rescued along with him.
Endurance athlete Reza Baluchi, 42, was plucked from the ocean on Saturday morning but his Hydro Pod - a floating sphere, encased in a metal fame, that allowed him to run on water, like a hamster in a wheel - remains lost at sea.
When Baluchi was rescued he was told a fisherman would haul his bubble back to shore, but he’s since been informed that that wasn’t possible and so his bubble was left still floating at sea.
Endurance athlete Reza Baluchi, 42, was plucked from the ocean on Saturday morning but his Hydro Pod remains lost at sea
That isn’t good news for Baluchi, who says his valuables were left inside the bubble - including his green card, passport, cellphone and even his shoes.
To make matters worse, Baluchi had ploughed his entire life savings - some $4,500 - into designing and building the pod.
Baluchi said he had been working two jobs, as a mechanic and restaurant dishwasher, in order to raise the funds for his adventure. ‘It took a long time,’ he told the Miami Herald.
Time is now running out for him as the law of salvage in maritime law states that anyone who recovers another person’s ship or cargo after peril or loss at sea is entitled to a reward equal to the value of the property.
With no money or boat, the Iranian born U.S. citizen says he’ll needs help to get it back.
‘I’m in trouble. Big trouble,’ he said.
The Coast Guard rescued Reza Baluchi from his Hydro Bubble 70 miles away from St. Augustine, Florida on Saturday morning
Baluchi was 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine when he was rescued on Saturday.
Coast guard officers had originally spotted him inside his bubble on Wednesday, but he had waved coast away guard, saying he was determined to complete his intended 1,033-mile journey.
Baluchi was on his own. No supporters or boats followed, a common net for athletes attempting open water voyages.
When the coast guard first discovered him on Wednesday, he was disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda. His bubble was filled with protein bars and bottled water - though he had claimed before setting off that he would mostly survive by fishing.
Worried by Baluchi’s apparent state of exhaustion and lack of adequate supplies, the coast guard had asked him to end his mission, but he refused.
The coastguard continued to track him until Saturday morning when Baluchi activated his Personal Locating Beacon.
After receiving his signal, an HC-130 airplane and a MH-60 helicopter were dispatched along with a rescue ship.
Helicopter rescue: Once all of the aircrew arrived, a rescue swimmer got Baluchi from his inflatable raft and into a helicopter where he was later evaluated by medical crews and found to be uninjured
Once they arrived at his coordinates, a rescue swimmer had got Baluchi out of his inflatable and into a helicopter.
He was evaluated by medics and judged to be ‘fatigued’ although not injured. The coastguard wanted him back to shore.
‘He activated both his spot beacon, and personal locating beacon. That’s a distress call. When he activated those two things, he was calling for help,’ said Petty Officer Mark Barney, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Baluchi disagrees. He said on Sunday that he didn’t turn on the beacon internationally, and had the energy to keep going.
He said people thought he was disoriented because he was sleeping during the day and bubbling at night. Baluchi calculated that temperatures inside the bubble would top 120 degrees during the day, so for the four days he was at sea, he waited until nightfall to move forward.
Baluchi says he ploughed his entire life savings - some $4,500 - into designing and building the pod
According to Baluchi’s website, Bermuda was just one stop in Baluchi’s ambitious - if not impossible - mission to outline the Bermuda Triangle: a thousand miles to Bermuda, another thousand south to Puerto Rico and another thousand east, back to South Florida.
‘Everyone wants to know how Reza Baluchi will be successful in his travel to through the Bermuda triangle. Reza is so confident that he will succeed in this trip because he has carefully articulated every detail it takes to survive,’ he had written on his website.
Baluchi had first tried to set off on his adventure last weekend, but his bubble was literally burst when some large children got into it when he wasn’t looking. The bubble’s weight limit is about 200 pounds
‘There were kids on the beach. And they were jumping inside it,’ Baluchi said. ‘I patched up the hole, and it was ready.’
In the end, Baluchi set sail three days later, but he now says his mission is in limbo.
‘I go around running, telling people, if you have a dream, you can do anything,’ Baluchi said. ‘Now I’m here, no money no bubble, no anything.’
Long Journey: Reza Baluchi was attempting to travel 1,033 miles from Florida to Bermuda
Baluchi claims he designed his Hydro Pod specifically to take him on his journey across the ocean.
He said: 'Being inside the Hydro Pod is not going to be a walk in the park; it will be very hot and humid. One can easily dehydrate quickly and lose breath.
‘Reza has devised this Hydro Pod to prevent physical difficulties. But not anyone can use without being mentally and physically fit. Being mentally fit is the main component to be able to survive a long journey in the Hydro Pod.’
In 2013, Reza tested his Hydro Pod by taking it out from Newport Beach to Catalina Island.
Next he wanted to cross the Bermuda Triangle because of the stories of shipwrecks and plane crashed linked to the area.
The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is a region in the western part of the Atlantic in which an imaginary line is drawn from Miami to Bermuda to Puerto Rico
maybe the USCG should allow him to swim back to rescue his bubble!