It probably seemed like a good idea before an ultra-marathon runner set off from the Florida coast in an inflatable paddle bubble to attempt to reach Bermuda. Unfortunately, the powerful Gulf Stream current messed with Reza Baluchi's plans and, on Saturday, was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Baluchi was running (or floating) for world peace.
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It is unknown when Baluchi set off from Florida, but he first became known to the Coast Guard on Wednesday when the 7th District command center was alerted to the floating hamster wheel-like vehicle 70 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Fla. They sent the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Webber to investigate and found the "disoriented" runner with a supply of protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone.
Baluchi asked the Coast Guard crew for directions to Bermuda.
On appealing to Baluchi to give up his voyage as he had an obvious lack of supplies for the duration, he refused to be rescued and was allowed to continue. But the Coast Guard kept track of his progress.
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Alas, on Saturday morning, Baluchi became caught in strong currents associated with the Gulf Stream that he, apparently, couldn't outrun. He sent a distress signal via his personal locating beacon and the Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter to assist. Though exhausted, there are no reports from medical teams of any injuries.
"Part of his effort was to make world peace but he got caught up in the Gulf Stream," said Coast Guard public affairs specialist Mark Barney. "The chances of muscling out of the Gulf Stream were pretty low."
According to a KTLA News report, Baluchi is attempting a world-wide marathon across 190 countries to "encourage world peace." The Florida to Bermuda leg of the journey was evidently part of this adventure.
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Baluchi fled from Iran to avoid persecution and is now a U.S. citizen, hoping to "unite the world as one" through his epic marathon around the world, according to his website RunWithReza.org.
You can see an early version of the ‘Paddle Bubble' here: