A Hydro ... What?


If you follow the news, you’ve likely seen numerous clips of primitively made and barely seaworthy boats and their “crews” intercepted at sea by the Coast Guard while trying to reach the U.S. You rarely see such incidents occur in the opposite direction, but the Coast Guard was recently compelled to intervene and rescue a Florida man miles off the Florida coast.

Endurance runner Reza Baluchi set out from Pompano Beach, with the aim of reaching Bermuda, Haiti, Cuba and Puerto Rico in his homemade hydro-pod bubble, which he planned on island hopping from by running inside of, hoping to raise money for children in need.

The first leg of his ambitious journey was about 1,033 miles, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a letter to Baluchi ordering him not to depart. Well, he didn’t listen and was later voluntarily rescued after the Coast Guard found him in his plastic bubble adrift at sea.

Have you ever heard of a “hydro-pod bubble?” Neither had we, but apparently after years in the making, the final product included 36 buoyancy balls on each side, a life jacket with a water filter, a GPS tracking device and even shark repellent.

This wasn’t Baluchi’s first time being rescued either. In 2014, he attempted a similar exploit and had to be rescued 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine. We wonder how much these two nautical rescues have cost taxpayers! He might have more luck reaching these islands on a more conventional type of transportation — say a cruise ship or airplane. It’d probably be cheaper and much faster, but where’s the fanfare in that?