US man tried to cross the Atlantic on a homemade hamster wheel. He ended up in prison

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaSep 07, 2023 | 17:00

US man tried to cross the Atlantic on a homemade hamster wheel. He ended up in prison

The man was 'running to London' through the Atlantic. (Photo Credits: Twitter/@6ixLegendz)

Have you ever heard of how acts of desperation can sometimes spur creativity? This is precisely what transpired in this particular case.

A Florida adventurer's ambitious quest to "run to London" across the Atlantic Ocean in a self-constructed vessel resembling a hamster wheel has stirred up a sensation on the internet.

According to the BBC, the US Coast Guard faced a challenging situation when they apprehended Reza Baluchi, a 44-year-old marathon enthusiast, approximately 70 miles (110km) off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia on August 26.



  • This determined marathon lover displayed incredible determination by refusing to disembark from his homemade hamster wheel boat, even when authorities requested it. This standoff persisted for three days.

  • This wasn't his first rodeo; Baluchi had previously embarked on three similar journeys, all of which ended with Coast Guard intervention.

  • Baluchi's unique contraption is wheel-shaped and equipped with paddles designed to propel it forward as the wheel rotates.

Amidst a hurricane saga, dramatic claims arose

  • He whimsically refers to his unconventional ocean journeys aboard as a "bubble."
  • To add a dash of drama to his daring escapades, Baluchi's voyage coincided with the impending threat of a major hurricane.
  • During a tense standoff, he made alarming claims, including threats of self-harm and falsely declaring the presence of a bomb on board, all documented in court papers.
  • However, on September 1, the high-stakes situation took a turn when Baluchi eventually surrendered and disembarked from his vessel after being taken to a Coast Guard base in Miami.
  • It was later revealed that the "bomb" was nothing more than a fake device.

Now, the adventure-loving Baluchi faces federal charges for obstructing a boarding and violating a Captain of the Port order. As the story unfolds, it remains uncertain whether he has secured legal representation for his criminal case.

This incident isn't Baluchi's first encounter with the law concerning his unconventional ocean endeavors, making his maritime escapades all the more intriguing and unconventional.

Not his first brush with danger

  • This wasn't the first time Baluchi had danced with danger.
  • In 2021, he had to be rescued when he attempted to travel from Florida to New York but ended up drifting 30 miles south from his starting point.
  • In 2014, he required assistance when he was on a similar contraption near St. Augustine.
  • Then, just two years later, he had to be rescued again, this time near Palm Beach, Florida, off the coast of Jupiter.
The complaint states Baluchi couldn't provide the necessary registration for his watercraft and instead claimed he was "running" to London inside his hamster wheel vessel.

But why did Baluchi undertake these daring voyages?

According to his own words, he had a noble cause in mind. He aimed to raise funds for various worthy purposes, including support for the homeless, the Coast Guard, and first responders.


"My goal is not only to raise money for homeless people but also to support the Coast Guard, the police department, and the fire department," he told WOFL-TV in Orlando in 2021, as reported by the BBC.

Reza Baluchi's audacious seafaring escapades have captivated the world's attention, from his determined "hamster wheel" journey to his dramatic standoff with the Coast Guard.

Last updated: September 07, 2023 | 17:00
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy