An arrest of a Florida man sparked an EOD response after he threatened to blow himself up in his "run" across the Atlantic Ocean. The saga began when the U.S. Coast Guard conducting preparation operations for Hurricane Franklin, discovered Reza Ray Baluchi in a homemade "Hydro Pod vessel" 70 miles off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia. The vessel, which can only be described as a human sized floating hamster wheel, utilized wiring and buoys to stay afloat.
Baluchi and an earlier version of his vessel.
Sound crazy enough so far, it only gets better as according to reports, it took the Coast Guard five days to apprehend Baluchi. A criminal complaint issued in the matter stated that Baluchi initially said his vessel was registered, but later said he couldn't find his documentation. When officers approached the vessel, he was armed with a 12-inch knife and threatened suicide.
Another attempt the next day by officers to force Baluchi to disembark also failed after he allegedly threatened to blow himself up. Officers observed him holding wires, prompting them to contact a U.S. Navy EOD Unit to help determine the blast radius of the alleged bomb. The complaint then states that Baluchi admitted the next day that the bomb threat was not real.
Baluchi was finally brought ashore and now faces federal charges of obstruction of a boarding and violation of a Captain of the Port Order. Baluchi reportedly claimed that his voyage was intended to raise money for charitable causes that include helping the homeless, the Coast Guard and the fire department.
Baluchi reportedly attempted a similar feat in 2021 and was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard in a floating "hydro pod" bubble in 2014 in another attempt to cross the Atlantic. This time, he was quoted in the press stating, "I'll never give up my dream. They stop me four or five times, but I never give up."