back to article US intercepts Bermuda Triangle bubble podule

An adventurer's audacious plan to venture forth from Florida into the Bermuda Triangle in a "hydro pod bubble" came to a premature end on Sunday when the US Coast Guard intervened to scupper the "inherently unsafe voyage attempt". Iranian Ray "Reza" Baluchi, 44, was on his second attempt to conquer the ocean aboard his hamster …

  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

    An adventurer's audacious plan to venture forth from Florida into the Bermuda Triangle in a "hydro pod bubble"

    What was he going to do when he got there? Wait for the aliens to give him a lift home?

    IIRC Bermuda is about a thousand miles from Florida. Maybe 70 (or even 7) miles off Florida counts as being in the Triangle, but this voyage of adventure looks more like a one-way exploration into dying of thirst.

    1. FBee

      Other sources say he was equipped with a salt>fresh water convertor although where it is stored in his see-thru hamster wheel is unclear...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Possibly he had reserves of water in his copious cheek-pouches?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm guessing someone has subbed Bermuda for the more plausible Bahamas target.

      1. cray74

        Caribbean Tour

        I'm guessing someone has subbed Bermuda for the more plausible Bahamas target.

        According to other coverage, he was planning a scenic, 3,500-mile tour of Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, and a return to Florida over 5 months. 23 miles a day: not bad for an aquatic hamster wheel.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame they couldn't leave him to it

    I think he would have made a fine Darwin Award winner.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Five more miles

      And he would have been in International waters. Next time run faster.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Mark 85

    Darwin candidate?

    Looks like kids' beachballs around the circumference and there's no sign of food or water in thing. I wonder what he was using for navigation also?

    According to the link to the NY Daily News points out that he was held for several months as an illegal alien after getting lost on his bicycle in the Arizona desert, I'm wondering where his brain is. There's no landmarks in the ocean and with the wind and current (the Gulfstream), getting to Puerto Rico. Haiti, and Cuba would be damn near impossible.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Darwin candidate?

      Clearly his intended destination was the UK and he was simply trying to make it into the Gulf Stream and from there into the North Atlantic Drift. Why I suspect that on his next attempt it won't be long before he's having tea in Buckingham Palace. That said he should get started right away so he stays clear of hurricane season.

  5. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Baluchi describes himself as an "Ultra Marathon runner"

    I wonder how the US Coast Guards describe him. Presumably in terms that are not part of the official vocabulary.

    1. Robert Helpmann??
      Childcatcher

      And the answer is...

      I wonder how the US Coast Guards describe him. Presumably in terms that are not part of the official vocabulary.

      Not to speak for the USCG as a whole, but I put your question to a blue-suiter. He said, "Wow! What a dummy! What a f*****g idiot!"

      1. Stoneshop
        Coat

        Re: And the answer is...

        What a fishing idiot?

        The oilskin one, thanks.

  6. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    Darwin and Davy Jones

    were in a heated round of Rock/Paper/Scissors to see who got first crack at Baluchi when interrupted by USCG "spoil sports"

  7. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Is suicide illegal?

    Yeah, the stupid thing was inherently unsafe and, as some commentards mention, there was no sign of food or water in in the pod, but if the guy wanted to kill himself un the most protracted and absurd way imaginable -and bag a Darwin Award along the way-, why was he stopped?

    It's not like the plastic bubble was a danger to anyone else, despite the Coast Guards' comments...

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: not a danger to anyone

      But if the brat found himself in danger (of a tropical storm, starvation or abduction by aliens) and issued a mayday, said Coast Guards would have to send a rescue mission and put themselves in danger too. Unfortunately, not all countries have a 'live and let die' approach to these kinds of recerational activities.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not a danger to anyone

        "Unfortunately, not all countries have a 'live and let die' approach to these kinds of recerational activities".

        More's the pity!!!

      2. Stoneshop
        Pirate

        Re: not a danger to anyone

        and issued a mayday,

        Did he have a radio transmitter, an EPIRB or flares with him? If not, then he couldn't call for help anyway.

    2. PNGuinn
      Trollface

      Darwin Award

      If it's not so already shouldn't deliberately touting for such a prestigious award be grounds for immediate disqualification?

      If only to protect the integrity of the award.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    This definitely does sound inherently unsafe.

    I have no idea how you can reliably steer that thing, or how you can accurately check whether you are on course while you are running to provide propulsion for the craft. Or how you can stop running to rest or get an accurate fix on your position and not be pushed off course by currents.

    Basically, if you are leaving the east coast of Florida and you miss the Bahamas because that contraption is too hard to steer and maintain fairly constant headway, your next landfall is the Canary Islands.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: This definitely does sound inherently unsafe.

      I have no idea how you can reliably steer that thing, or how you can accurately check whether you are on course while you are running to provide propulsion for the craft. Or how you can stop running to rest or get an accurate fix on your position and not be pushed off course by currents.

      I'm guessing he didn't either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This definitely does sound inherently unsafe.

      They should have used a chopper's downdraught to blow him back to shore. He'd have had a ride like being inside a washing machine, and after half an hour being tumbled in a mix of salt water and vomit he might have started to realise there's a downside to being a knob end.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    how much?

    $140,000.00 to be picked up at sea? I don't know if I should be shocked! or shocked? Part of me says WTF? Are the paying for that gold plated helicopter? And part of me says, you got off cheap! Be happy to be alive.

    Doing it again without support, this guy is nuts. Time for the round rubber room for this guy.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: how much?

      Hah. Have you priced an MH-65 rescue chopper lately? They're US$9M. Plus maintenance, which usually makes the purchase price look cheap. Helicopters are gold-plated to start with. And how much to have 2 or 3 of them on standby, with trained Coasties ready 24x7x365.25?

      Then there's the chance of having one go down in bad weather trying to rescue this guy, along with risking USCG lives.

      So I hope they make good on the prison and $40K.

      1. PNGuinn
        Facepalm

        "The chance of having one go down in bad weather ... along with risking USCG lives."

        That's the real issue here. AND having all those resources tied up rescuing a &^%£**& when they might be needed elsewhere.

        And until you actually get out there and go down to have a look you probably don't know exactly what you are dealing with.

    2. seacook

      Re: how much?

      Sounds like they are just looking to find a way to charge off the expenses. Thought that the government had to provide a salary to the staff plus operating costs for the bird ;-)

  10. Sureo

    I suggest....

    I suggest he put his hydro pod bubble on land, hook it up to an electric generator, and run his heart out.

  11. x 7

    he's just another muslim refugee taking to the sea in an unsuitable craft. Thousands of them dying in the Med, why is this idiot any different?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is precisely why aliens give our planet a wide berth.

    Interplanetary Galactic Council Resolution 9000: The planet know as third rock can be explored only in the specified triangular area as denoted at the local planning department of Alpha Centauri.

    Along they come and...

    Some idiot in a plastic ball is running across the sea with no food or water.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...why aliens give our planet a wide berth."

      I've often thought that they could have chosen better looking models to pose for the Pioneer Plaque.

  13. Jan 0 Silver badge
    Alert

    "hydro pod bubble"

    Is that an internationally recognised boat class?

    I'm not surprised if he had no food on board. Once he encountered some moderate waves he'd be in the hydrological equivalent of a Vomit Comet.

  14. fpx
    Pint

    Give him some credit

    There is a tremendous amount of speculation here.

    People have crossed the oceans in all kinds of human-powered watercraft more and less ridiculous as this one. This bubble does not look much less seaworthy than some kayaks. And its crazy looks make it immediately likeable.

    Given that he made it 7 miles offshore (and 40 miles in an earlier attempt) it's clear that he had water and food somewhere. Instead of having items bouncing about in the bubble or them in the rim would be silly though, I would have gone with a towboat. (There's no boat to be seen in the story's picture.)

    Navigation's trivial with a hand-held GPS. And apparently he also took a radio or satphone.

    He shows up in the results database of the 2010 and 2012 Badwater Ultramarathon (200km across Death Valley in the middle of summer), so he does have some serious endurance credentials. (The site lists him as a US resident.)

    So he's not completely crazy. Although I agree with the coast guard that, considering the risk of flooding to weather or a puncture, he needs a seaworthy craft at his side.

  15. Trevor Marshall

    Call that a podule?

    I'd like to see you plug that into your Acorn Archimedes.

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