Bubble Traveler: ‘I Was Not Asking For Rescue’

October 7, 2014

[Updated] A man who was rescued after attempting to travel from Miami to Bermuda in a bubble has said he was not asking to be rescued, and is now soliciting donations online to rebuild the bubble so he can keep his “dream alive to run across land and sea.”

Reza Baluchi’s ambitious attempt to travel from Miami to Bermuda in a bubble ended on October 4th, when he was found 70 miles off the coast of Florida, floating in the bubble, disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda.

The Coast Guard said they rescued him after he activated his Personal Locating Beacon on Saturday morning, however Mr. Baluchi refutes this, claiming that the “button was struck accidentally.”

The inflatable Hydro Pod bubble is made of 3mm-thick plastic, and is powered by the person running inside it, similar to a hamster on a wheel. According to Mr. Baluchi, the bubble was destroyed when it was being towed it to shore.

The 42-year-old set out for the 1,033 mile journey with his bubble stocked with protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone. He planned to catch fish to sustain himself on the journey, run during the day, and spend his nights sleeping on a hammock inside the bubble.

In a post late last night on social media, he said, “Hello friends. You may have seen news on my recent attempt to run to Bermuda. Just to clear up what happened, I was not asking for rescue.

“The transponder button was struck accidentally while receiving a gift from a passing fishing boat that had come up to speak with me. Once the Coast Guard arrived, I had no choice but to leave my hydro-bubble.

“I was Airlifted to Air Station Clearwater, in Clearwater, Florida where the doctors examined me and found me to be in perfect condition. I thank them for their service they provided.

“However, the bubble was destroyed when the same fishing boat tried to tow it to shore. My team is currently organizing to rebuild the hydro-pod. I am praying and asking for donations to rebuild and restart my mission to run for peace.”

Mr. Baluchi then linked to a donation page on the crowd funding website GoFundMe, which said, “Help me keep my dream alive to run across land and sea to spread peace and unity throughout the world. Your donation is greatly appreciated to aid in rebuilding my hydro-pod bubble.”

GoFundMe lists $10,000 as Mr. Baluchi’s fundraising goal, and as of this writing, he has raised $0.

The attempted journey by Mr. Baluchi – who was granted asylum in the United States in 2003 after being arrested in Iran for so-called pro-Western activities —  has made headlines worldwide.

Numerous international media outlets have reported on his failed attempt to zorb to Bermuda, including USA Today, The Independent, The Guardian, CNN, ABC News, NBC News, and Sky News.

Update 1.05pm: According to a report from the Associated Press, the rescue operation cost $144,000.

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Man Plans To Bubble Travel Again In January - Bernews.com : Bernews.com | October 27, 2014
  1. Mr. Meoff says:

    Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute has a room for you.

  2. Nigel Spider says:

    This damm guy is a dreamer!!!

  3. memorylo$$ says:

    Ya, nuts, wind and current will put him in the North Atlantic freezing cold water will be his end.

  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    This guy is a visionary…he’s got more balls and imagination than you lot criticizing him!!!!! Dunkley and the BTA should fly him here free of charge for a hotel stay and really put Bermuda on the map!!!! START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Vhovho says:


      • Kunta says:

        So all you have to do is, do something stupid, name Bermuda then fly them here free and room, to put Bermuda on de map, well he put Bermuda on de map already by stating the name and he don’t have to run in a bubble to come here, all he has to do is wait for de P.R.C floodgate to open !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. swing voter says:

    Media coverage is good for us ….Thank you sir! Perhaps the BDA Tourism Authority will give you a financial boost!

    • Kunta says:

      I don’t think its in de budget, but we can give him a boost at MAWI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Truth is killin' me... says:

    He could even be the “GUEST” starter in his bubble for the America’s Cup when we host it. Now that would be news. START THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!!

    • Silence Do Good says:

      Only if he comes here under his own power and by his bubble. Complete the feet first to amaze me. I am attempting to float to Miami, anyone want to fund me when I fail?

    • Kunta says:

      Ok, but make sure he’s in a STRAIGHT JACKET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Bermy girl says:

    while most of your dreams are too be the first ignorant commenter on Bernews.. Or the the person to comment the most ignorant things! This gentlemen wants to travel the word VIA bubble. I’m with the bubble man!

  8. Bozey says:

    He was found not in the best condition. And judging by the report, if he had continued the end could have been much worse!! Dumba** is embarassed! Good cause, but next time he should try something a little more realistic!!

  9. Williams says:

    He is the key to solving the myth of the triangle. Let him do his thing.

    • Kunta says:

      He is the key to solving the myth to Psychopathology !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. shawn says:

    i find it interesting(think stupid) that people here ,on facebook,in bermuda and the Us are getting MAD at a guy doing something to raise awareness of PEACE!!! SMDH!

    • Kunta says:

      I think its easier to wave a white flag !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TC says:

      We are in a world of limited resources.
      Those resources are at risk from plastics degrading around us, particularly into water and the food chain.
      It takes resources to make 24 soccer balls and a large plastic bubble.
      These are the kind of resources that people will go to war for as our past shows. Live a sustainable life with the intention of reducing your environmental footprint and eventual wars could be avoided.
      He has now left that thing floating out in the atlantic to wash up (hopefully) on our shores. And he wants to build another?
      Not to mention the severe danger this metal contraption could cause for a passing vessel in the night.
      What he’s ding is completely irresponsible and naive despite having the best intentions.

  11. Ride says:

    Are we there yet?


  12. YES I says:

    Have fun mate! Hope you make it……smh

  13. Triangle Drifter says:

    The estimated cost for saving his sorry butt to the US taxpayer has been given at $30,000.00

    If he goes out again, have him sign off that he will not be looking for rescue. Maybe he will be found in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, dead in his bubble.

    • swing voter says:

      u cold hearted bastid! lol

    • Bda guy says:

      That sucks for the US if the Coast Guard driving 70 miles each way is costing US tax payers 30k. Yet, I hear no one complaining when the US sends 100 million to Israel so they can keep bombing the ish out of
      the Palestinians.

      You people have your priorities all jacked up!

  14. David says:

    I applaud Mr. Baluchi’s spirit but he can have no concept of what the ocean between Bermuda and the Us coast is capable of. Professional captains in the sturdiest of ocean going vessels have been killed and their craft destroyed even after making the most meticulous preparations. Last week the wind was blowing at 40knts+ and the waves were 25ft+ as a sub tropical cyclone unexpectedly formed over us. How do you think this inflatable toy will fare with this? The worst part is that brave professionals will be required to go out and rescue him when he pushes his ‘button’ for real!
    Pick something a little more realistic sir!

  15. Straight up says:

    Some of you people are getting all bend out of shape because this guy wants to travel in his bubble to BDA. It’s his life, let him do what the hell he wants if its not directly harming someone else. He’s a grown man. Let him make his own decisions, especially when him and his crew should be very much aware of the consequences.
    He was already out almost 200 miles before being rescued. If he has the balls to do it again, so be it! I just hope he doesn’t hook and burst his own bubble while fishing in the middle of the Atlantic.

    PS – anyone up for a little kick when he arrives?? He has enough balls.

    • Kunta says:

      Then he should have his own Rescue Crew on hand !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. long time says:

    i mean if he woulda studied the jet stream it may have been possible but this time of year the jet stream woulda but pushed him off target anyway

  17. Young Adult says:

    only 930 miles to go!. That comment from the reporter killed me lol

  18. Rockfish#2 says:

    Perhaps the BTA will fund his next attempt. We would never know, thanks to our bamboozled Tourism Minister.

  19. J.J. says:

    The guy should stick to running on land! Never heard such foolishness,he must of got the idea from his pet hamsters!!!! LOL!!!!

  20. Awn De Reel says:

    Well sorry to burst your bubble….

  21. TC says:

    He left that thing floating out there to degrade plastic into our food chain and he wants to do it again!??