A combined Forrest Gump- and Bubble Boy-inspired attempt at running across the ocean.
Ultramarathoner Reza Baluchi was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard early Saturday morning in an attempt to “run” from Florida to Bermuda in a human-powered inflatable bubble.
The Coast Guard first encountered Baluchi on Wednesday in what a Coast Guard press release described the craft as a “hydro bubble,” with only protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and satellite phone to supply him on his 1,000-mile journey. According to the press release (and as seen in the video), the Coast Guard requested Baluchi to terminate his voyage due to his low supply and possible danger of being swept away by the Gulf Stream. However, Baluchi refused assistance.
Although Baluchi has run across the U.S. twice from Los Angeles to New York and once around its perimeter, no amount of training could have prepared him for traversing an ocean in a plastic bubble.
Baluchi finally activated his personal locating beacon on Saturday due to exhaustion. A Coast Guard HC-130 airplane and MH-60 helicopter rescued him 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., and reported in the press release that he had sustained no injuries.
“Part of his effort was to make world peace but he got caught up in the Gulf Stream,” says Coast Guard public affairs specialist Mark Barney in a CNN story. “The chances of muscling out of the Gulf Stream were pretty low.”
Baluchi’s mission now is to become the first person to run around the world through 195 countries to spread a message of liberty and unity as stated in his Run with Reza Facebook page. Whether it’s trekking across continents or running on water, it takes one special man with enough motivation to make it as far as Baluchi did on his trip to Bermuda.