They that go down to the sea in...

...hamster wheels...!!!*
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From The Daily Telegraph today


Madcap adventurer washes ashore inside giant floating hamster wheel, trying to reach New York The 1,000 mile trip was expected to take 21 days, but Mr Baluchi’s efforts were scuppered after eight hours and he could be taken to court

By Jamie Johnson, US CORRESPONDENT 26 July 2021 • 8:17pm

Reza Baluchi has been threatened with legal action by the coast guard. A madcap adventurer who attempted to travel from Florida to New York on a giant floating hamster wheel has been told that if he wastes any more Coast Guard time, he could be taken to court.

Reza Baluchi, a 49-year-old ultramarathon runner spent five years building a hydropod which used to run across the water in an attempt to raise money for charity. The 1,000 mile trip was expected to take 21 days, but Mr Baluchi’s efforts were scuppered after just eight hours.

Unfavourable currents and a broken GPS system took him 30 miles south and the contraption washed up near Daytona beach prompting confused locals to call the police because they thought a UFO had crashed.

But Mr Baluchi is well known to the authorities in this part of Florida.
In 2014, he built a similar vessel and managed to ‘run’ 70 miles off shore towards Bermuda.

He was found disorientated, asking passing boats which way he should be heading, and a $140,000 coast guard rescue mission was launched. But Mr Baluchi did not listen to orders telling him not to try the “inherently unsafe” journey again, and he set off in the same direction in 2016, where he was intercepted again. “Baluchi's 2014 attempt placed enormous financial burden on taxpayers for his rescue. He was recently ordered not to depart,” the Coast Guard said.
Now, following his third aquatic misadventure in seven years, he has been handed a Captain of the Port order - where he cannot take to the water in his vessel again unless certain conditions are met.

It is understood that this includes having a spotter boat with him - something Mr Baluchi says would cost a crippling $300 an hour. “This is not the first time he has done this,” Coast Guard Third Class Petty Officer Ryan Estrada told the Telegraph.

“If he does it again and breaks the order he could be facing legal trouble. He could be sued for the time and man hours spent rescuing him.”

Speaking to the Telegraph from Florida, the Iranian-born adventurer said he is unlikely to give up. He says he had a difficult childhood in Iran, literally running away from home and travelling 300 miles on foot to live with his aunt and uncle. His athletic prowess did not go unnoticed and by 14 he was cycling with the Iranian national team. But later in his teenage years, Mr Baluchi developed a rebellious streak, getting into trouble for associating with dissidents and straying away from Islam. At one point he spent time in prison, where he was allegedly tortured.

Mr Baluchi fled his homeland in 1996 and spent seven years cycling 49,700 miles across 55 countries on six continents. “He delivered a message of peace everywhere he went, shared love and began to experience life in a way many people only dream of,” his website reads.

He entered America illegally in 2002 and in a bid to gain political asylum pledged to run from Los Angeles to New York to raise money for the Children's Aid Society.
When he arrived in New York, he donated his bike to Engine 33, Ladder 9, the closest fire station to Ground Zero. Ten of its 14 firefighters were killed in the response to the World Trade Center attack on September 11. "These guys are true heroes," Mr Baluchi said. "They gave their lives to save others. So I wanted to donate my bike.”

In 2007, Mr Baluchi laced up his shoes once again and ran the perimeter of the United States, raising money for the Children's Hospital of Denver. He says he spent 202 consecutive days running a total of 11,720 miles. "Because it was so difficult for me to leave my country and reach America, I ran for children around the world that are also homeless," he told CNN. In a letter he has sent to the coast guard, seen by the Telegraph, he has asked if he can recover the vessel and start the journey again. “Some people never give up. I want to show how many times you can fail in life but still not give up. I can be an inspiration for other people. I want to change people’s lives.”




* See Psalm 107:23-31 King James Version: At Verse 23
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters etc etc

Full text at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm 107:23-31&version=KJV
 

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