Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Florida man was rescued after trying to ride a hamster ball to the Bahamas

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 3:18 PM

  • Photo via USCGSoutheast/Twitter
A Florida man was rescued last weekend by the U. S. Coast Guard after trying to ride a hamster ball, or inflatable bubble, to the Bermuda Triangle. 

The U.S. Coast Guard voluntarily rescued and took Reza Baluchi back to land this Sunday, says the Washington Post. His journey started in Pompano Beach and ended near Fort Pierce.

If the past is any indicator, this rescue mission could end up costing close to $144,000.

"This proposed adventure unnecessarily risked the lives of Mr. Baluchi, the maritime public, and our Coast Guard men and women," said Capt. Austin Gould, Coast Guard Sector Miami Commander in a statement.

"Additionally, the Coast Guard is obligated to ensure taxpayer money and resources are used efficiently and appropriately."

This isn't the first time Baluchi's actions have taken a chunk out of taxpayer money. The endurance runner took his homemade contraption out on the water in October 2014, but ended up having to be rescued after losing his GPS system, reports WPLG. And, on April 13, he again attempt the quest only to be pushed back to shore because it was a little bit windy

A letter from the Coast Guard shows that Baluchi was warned to not go on his most recent trip, stating that doing so would result in a possible seven-year confinement and up to a $40,000 fine.

"I view your current planned voyage without use of an escort/support vessel or an equivalent safety precaution that would allow for self-rescue as unsafe," the letter says. "I encourage you to work with my staff to develop a voyage plan meeting the requirements I have set forth previously."

Baluchi has not made a statement on whether there'll be a fourth (probably unsuccessful) attempt.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation