Reza Baluchi, a 44-year-old man from Florida, had a peculiar and ambitious dream: to “run to London” across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
Unlike traditional marathoners who dash on the pavement, Reza’s strategy was different. He aspired to make this transatlantic journey inside a floating contraption that remarkably resembled a hamster wheel.
Not So Fast, Florida Man
On August 26, 2023, the US Coast Guard spotted Baluchi 70 miles off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia. When asked for his vessel’s registration, Baluchi, slightly disoriented, claimed he had it on board but couldn’t locate it.
Coast Guard officials became concerned when they assessed the condition of his vessel. Comprising wires and buoys, they deemed his journey “manifestly unsafe.”
Their worries were justified; Baluchi’s unique vessel wasn’t the standard ship one would expect to see on a voyage across the ocean. They requested him to disembark, but the journeyman had other plans.
A Standoff at Sea: Florida Man vs. Coast Guard
Baluchi resisted the Coast Guard’s orders to leave his vessel. He remained defiant inside his floating wheel for three arduous days. Allegedly, he even threatened that he had an explosive device on board.
However, after a tense standoff, Baluchi finally exited his vessel, which led to his arrest. He now faces charges of obstructing a boarding procedure and violating port orders.
Past Endeavors on the Open Waters
Baluchi’s audacious attempt to run across the Atlantic was not an isolated incident. He has a history of embarking on such extraordinary adventures.
In 2014, he tried to make a trip to Bermuda. However, the voyage didn’t go as planned. He got lost and had to rely on fishermen for directions. Ignoring the Coast Guard’s warnings, he continued on his quest, only to activate his locator beacon 70 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida.
Yet, the spirit of the adventurer remained unbroken. In interviews, he emphasized, “I’ll never give up my dream.”
A Charitable Mission at Heart
Behind these perilous adventures lies a noble intent. Baluchi aims to raise funds for various causes. From supporting homeless individuals to raising awareness about the treatment of women in Iran, his objectives are altruistic.
He even maintains a webpage for his efforts at https://runwithreza.tv/.