TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A man who was attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Britain was arrested just off the coast of Tybee last week, the Daily Mail reports.
Reza Baluchi, 51, was detained after traveling 70 miles following a three-day standoff with the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel was intercepted on Aug. 28 and Baluchi was brought ashore by Sept. 1.
The “hamster wheel” consists of a metal drum with paddles on either side of the contraption that can float, which allows him to run across the surface of the water — something that the Coast Guard would refer to as “conducting a manifestly unsafe voyage.”
According to the DailyMail, when Baluchi was approached by authorities, he threatened to take his own life with a 12-inch knife and also said he had a bomb onboard the vessel. However, after two days, Baluchi admitted that there was no bomb and eventually joined officers on their boat a day later.
A career runner and professional cycler, this isn’t the first time Baluchi has been arrested during one of his stunts. He’s had multiple run-ins with the law from 2014 to 2021 — each instance involving the human hamster wheel contraption.
In 2014, he attempted to travel from Pompano Beach in Florida to Bermuda, Puerto Rico and then back to Miami, but the trip was cut short after authorities judged the situation as too dangerous.
In 2016, he tried to cross the Atlantic to reach Bermuda once again, this time taking a slightly different route first traveling through Jacksonville, but was spotted 7 miles into the trip.
Just two years ago, Baluchi embarked from St. Augustine, Florida on a journey to New York, but this time. he ended up washing ashore in Flagler County, Florida.
Today, Baluchi faces federal charges of obstruction of boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port order.