Man attempting to ‘run’ across ocean washes up on Florida shore inside ‘hydro pod bubble’


The man was trying to travel from St. Augustine, Florida, to New York in his floating watercraft. (Flagler County Sheriff’s Office)

(NEXSTAR) – Once again, the Coast Guard has been forced to come to the aid of a man attempting to “run” across the ocean in a conveyance resembling a floating man-sized hamster ball.

Officers with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of the man’s vessel washing ashore on a beach in Hammock on Saturday, according to the local sheriff’s office. Upon arrival, officers found the man to be uninjured and referred the case to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Police also shared photos of the bizarre-looking watercraft on social media, where they confirmed the U.S. Coast Guard would be working to confirm the vessel was compliant for offshore activities.

“Thank you to the concerned citizens who reported this. We are happy to announce that the occupant of the vessel is safe with no injuries!” the sheriff’s office wrote.

The man, identified as Reza Baluchi, was apparently trying to travel from St. Augustine, Florida, to New York in his floating watercraft.

Strangely, Baluchi has found himself in nearly this exact same predicament more than once in recent years. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued Baluchi off the coast of St. Augustine in 2014 after finding him fatigued and disoriented on an alleged attempt to “run” from Florida to Bermuda. And in 2016, he was again rescued off the coast of Florida after setting off from Pompano Beach during a similar attempt to reach Bermuda, the Associated Press reported.

Baluchi, an accomplished marathon runner, has previously staged these types of stunts to share “stories of the human spirit,” or for charitable causes, his website states. His ultimate goal is to run in all U.N.-recognized countries.

He also calls his vessel a “hydro pod bubble,” and not a man-sized hamster ball, according to his site.

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