Coast Guard retrieves Pompano Beach man after unsuccessful bubble journey to Bermuda
Previous rescue came with $144,000 price tag
MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard retrieved endurance runner Reza Baluchi and brought him back to shore Sunday after he ended his aquatic voyage from South Florida to the Bermuda Triangle in his "hydro pod" early.
Baluchi, an Iranian-born man who lives in Pompano Beach, started his journey about April 14. It was his second failed attempt to complete the journey, which he made to promote peace.
He voluntarily ended his voyage, according to a tweet from the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard warned in a letter to Baluchi not to take the voyage.
In the letter, Capt. A.J. Gould told Baluchi he was "not authorized to depart" on the journey because his vessel and water conditions were not safe.
The penalty for not complying with the order is up to "(seven) years confinement and a $40,000 fine," the letter said.
In October 2014, the endurance athlete embarked on his maiden voyage only to have his GPS device fall into the ocean about 70 miles off of St. Augustine. The U.S. Coast Guard began monitoring his movements and eventually rescued him from the sea.
That rescue mission came with a $144,000 price tag.
#BreakingNews: HydroPod voyage from Miami to Bermuda had recently been determined to be manifestly unsafe.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 24, 2016
#BreakingNews Baluchi's 2014 attempt placed enormous financial burden on taxpayers for his rescue. He was recently ordered not to depart.— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 24, 2016
The Coast Guard letter alludes to a statement made by Baluchi during one of their conversations that they found concerning.
"I am most concerned with your statement that 'A support boat may put lives of others in danger,' as it shows a lack of planning and concern for your life as well," the letter stated.
The Coast Guard said Baluchi's pervious journey placed an "enormous financial burden on taxpayers to conduct a rescue. Additionally, it placed Coast Guard personnel at risk."
The letter concludes with the Coast Guard urging Baluchi to work with it to plan any future trips.
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