published : 2023-09-06

Florida Man Arrested by Coast Guard for Attempting to Cross Atlantic in Human-Sized Hamster Wheel

Man's audacious journey to run on water from Florida to London ends in arrest

Florida man Anthony Vance posing with his innovative human-sized hamster wheel contraption

In a daring feat that captured the attention of the world, a Florida man has been arrested by the Coast Guard for his audacious attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a human-sized hamster wheel.

Coast Guard officials overseeing the interception of Reza Baluchi's vessel off Tybee Island, Georgia

The man, identified as Anthony Vance, hails from St. Petersburg, Florida, and found himself with a water-logged yard after Hurricane Idalia wreaked havoc in his area. Undeterred by the flood, Vance ingeniously fashioned a hammock over the water, making the best of his situation.

Aerial view of St. Petersburg, Florida, where Anthony Vance hails from, showcasing the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia

However, his resourcefulness didn't stop there. Inspired by his new aquatic surroundings, Vance devised a plan to 'run' to London, England using his human-sized hamster wheel. Little did he know, this ambitious undertaking would soon land him in hot water.

Reza Baluchi standing defiantly next to his hamster wheel contraption during his previous attempt to run on water

Coast Guard officials intercepted Vance's unconventional contraption, built from a giant metal drum equipped with inflatable buoys and paddles powered by a runner inside, a staggering 70 miles off Tybee Island, Georgia. The arrest came as a surprise to Vance, who was caught off guard by the intervention of the authorities.

USCG officers negotiating with Reza Baluchi as he holds a 12-inch knife onboard his vessel

44-year-old Reza Baluchi, as he was later identified, now faces federal charges for his ill-fated voyage. Rescued and apprehended on August 26, his decision to embark on this perilous journey was deemed a 'manifestly unsafe' venture by the USCG officers who discovered him.

Aerial shot of the USCG Base in Miami Beach, Florida, where Reza Baluchi finally disembarked

Concerned for his safety and the potential danger posed by his vessel, the Coast Guard made the consequential decision to cut short Baluchi's adventure. However, their actions were met with resistance from the determined voyager.

Anthony Vance enjoying a moment of relaxation on his hammock over the water in his flooded yard

In an attempt to evade capture, Baluchi resorted to drastic measures, threatening to take his own life with a 12-inch knife and claiming to have a bomb on board. An intense standoff ensued, as authorities worked tirelessly to negotiate his surrender.

Reza Baluchi expressing his determination to raise funds for charitable causes during an interview

After days of arduous efforts, Coast Guard officers managed to convince Baluchi to disembark at a USCG Base in Miami Beach, Florida. It was later revealed that his bomb threat turned out to be false, a desperate ploy to prolong his journey.

A close-up of Reza Baluchi's human-sized hamster wheel contraption, showing the inflatable buoys and paddles

This was not the first time Baluchi had attempted such a feat. Court documents revealed that his previous endeavors to run on water, using his trusty hamster wheel, took place in 2014, 2016, and now 2021. Each time, the Coast Guard intervened to put an end to his ambitions.

Scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean, symbolizing the ambitious journey that Reza Baluchi embarked on

Despite the arrest and setback, Baluchi maintains that his intentions were noble. In an exclusive interview with [News Outlet], he expressed his desire to raise money for charitable causes, including supporting homeless people, the U.S. Coast Guard, and police and fire departments.

A photograph capturing the determination and resilience of Reza Baluchi as he prepares for his fifth attempt to run on water

Baluchi's extraordinary determination and refusal to give up on his dreams have captured the imagination of many. While he acknowledges the challenges he has faced, his unwavering spirit remains unbreakable.

Anthony Vance showcasing his innovative adaptation of a hammock over water after Hurricane Idalia

As we reflect on this extraordinary story, it serves as a reminder that human ambition knows no bounds. While Baluchi's journey may have been thwarted, his indomitable spirit will undoubtedly continue to inspire others to chase their dreams, no matter the obstacles they may face.