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Most people have probably never heard the term “hydro bubble boat” before, but one Florida man is hoping to change that. Reza Baluchi has been trying to raise money with his unusual boat, but the Coast Guard has other ideas. Baluchi was born in Northern Iran in 1972 and came to the U.S. looking for better things. It was here that he created the hydro bubble boat from supplies he purchased himself.

What is Reza Baluchi’s hydro bubble boat?

A hydro bubble boat
A man tried to float to New York in a hydro bubble boat | Mladen Antonov /AFP via Getty Images

Baluchi’s quest to reach faraway lands on his hydro bubble has yet to succeed. However, he has done a lot along the way. Baluchi started his mission to raise awareness by running through all 194 countries in the world. When he isn’t running, he’s prepping for his next adventure on the hydro bubble boat.

Baluchi first made the news back in 2014 when the Coast Guard had to rescue him and the hydro bubble boat on the way to Bermuda. He was found off the coast of Miami, according to an old CNN story. The Coast Guard found him floating in his hydro bubble boat with protein bars, a GPS unit, and a satellite phone. At the time, the Coast Guard requested he returns to wherever he came from due to a lack of supplies.

While that mission failed, Baluchi continued to re-work the hydro bubble and tried again later in 2014. He tried again in 2016 and has made various missions in various versions of the hydro bubble.

The hydro bubble boat journey

This time, Baluchi was attempting to head to New York or just northern Florida. “My goal is to not only raise money for homeless people, raise money for the Coast Guard, raise money for the police department, raise money for the fire department. They are in public service, they do it for safety, and they help other people,” Baluchi told Fox 13 News.

You can follow his journey through the GPS tracker on his website. You can also donate through the website. The hydro bubble is quite large and consists of a metal cage with various floating devices helping it stay afloat. It has buoys and inflatable balls within the enclosure. The design has evolved over time. “I will show people anything you want to do, do it. Don’t listen to anyone. Chase your dreams.”

What makes a boat a boat?

Merriam-Webster defines a boat as “a small vessel for travel on water.” Others describe a boat as a vessel propelled by oars, sails, or an engine. Baluchi’s hydro bubble boat is actually powered by himself. He runs inside like a hamster in a ball, moving the boat along with him. He occasionally stopped to sleep or catch fish but was otherwise hamstering along in his hydro bubble boat.

While Baluchi may not have reached his desired destination, he is undoubtedly bringing awareness to his cause. If someone can craft a boat out of random balls and buoys, what’s next? The hydro bubble boat is making waves in the news and in the water.


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