Man crossing Atlantic on a 'hamster wheel' now faces criminal charges

Man crossing Atlantic on a 'hamster wheel' now faces criminal charges

Reza Baluchi, a 44-year-old serial adventurer based in Florida, was hoping to the cross the Atlantic Ocean in a homemade makeshift "hydropod" and visit London. But he is now facing criminal charges after allegedly threatening members of the U.S. Coast Guard with a knife on August 26.

The Guardian's Richard Luscombe reports that Baluchi, who was born in Iran, was intercepted by U.S. Coast Guard members off the coast of South Carolina. Court papers filed in Miami, according to Luscombe, alleged that Baluchi threatened them with a knife.

Baluchi also claimed to have a bomb and threatened to blow up the Coast Guard members if they came on board, but Luscombe reports that he later admitted that the "bomb" was a hoax.

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This incident, according to Luscombe, marked "the fourth time the U.S. Coast Guard had stopped Baluchi from attempting such a voyage. in Miami."

"His previous efforts — in 2014, 2016 and 2021, in similar homemade craft — were all terminated close to the U.S. coastline, the Coast Guard said, adding that he failed to submit the hydropod used for his latest try for inspection by the service's marine inspectors as he was required to do," Luscombe notes. "He was taken aboard a cutter for basic medical attention, food, water and shelter, according to a statement, before being transferred to Miami, where he was arrested."

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Read The Guardian's full report at this link.

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