Coast Guard rescues man trying to run to Bermuda in inflatable bubble

Reza Baluchi planned to travel from Miami to Bermuda in an inflatable bubble. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued him Saturday east of St. Augustine, Fla.
(Mark Barney / U.S. Coast Guard)

A man who planned to run from Miami to Bermuda in an inflatable bubble was rescued this weekend off northern Florida, three days after the Coast Guard asked him to call off his trip, officials said.

The Coast Guard said it received a report Wednesday that Reza Baluchi was seen in his bubble, disoriented and requesting directions to Bermuda. The agency said it sent a boat out to Baluchi, “conveyed the dangers of his voyage” and requested he stop because he didn’t have enough supplies, but he refused.

He had protein bars, bottled water, a GPS device and a satellite phone, the Coast Guard said.

On Saturday morning, Baluchi was suffering from exhaustion and activated his locating beacon, the Coast Guard said. Crews retrieved him 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., it said. That was more than 300 miles from Miami, but nowhere near his intended destination.


According to Baluchi’s website, the runner designed his own bubble, which he called a Hydro Pod. It says that the bubble is made of plastic 1/10 of an inch thick and that its interior can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees. The plan for his journey to Bermuda, it says, included catching fish to eat, sleeping on a hammock inside the bubble and jumping into the ocean to avoid overheating.

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