Ultra-Runner’s Caribbean Bubble Burst
Iranian born ultra-runner Reza Baluchi has been rescued off the east coast of Florida recently, for the second time in three years, after he failed to run to Bermuda, across the western Atlantic Ocean, in his floating bubble.
For his most recent attempt, Baluchi planned the 3,500-mile journey, from Florida through the Bermuda Triangle and onto Puerto Rico, Haiti and Cuba, and back once he hit Bermuda in a modified spherical zorb, surrounded by a frame consisting of a riverboat wheel-esque propulsion system and 36 buoys affixed to the wheel for flotation. His plan was to raise money “for children in need and to inspire those that have lost hope for a better future,” according to his website. His survival plan was to eat fish he caught with a hand line and drink salt water that he desalinated using a purification system.
The 44-year-old Iranian planned to spend five months at sea in the bubble, but when a Coast Guard crew spotted Baluchi bobbing in water off the coast of Florida without a support boat nearby — as should have been the case — his mission was thwarted and he and his bubble were tugged back to land.
Officials said Baluchi was warned in a letter earlier this month, and could face jail time and a hefty $52,000 fine if he embarked on the voyage without being trailed by a support boat, and now, after failing to comply has ended up in some hot water.