An ultramarathon runner from Florida has abandoned his attempt to run from Miami to Bermuda in a giant inflatable ball after the US Coast Guard rescued him 70 nautical miles off the US coast. Reza Baluchi embarked on the challenge on Tuesday and refused multiple requests from the Coast Guard to abandon his mission. The Iranian-born runner activated his Personal Locating Beacon on Saturday morning and was rescued via helicopter.
Baluchi claims that he accidentally called for help and did not need to be rescued. He said: “The Coast Guard asked me in the helicopter, 'You need water?' I said, 'No.' 'You hungry?' I said, 'No.' They checked my heart and everything was good.”
Baluchi is known for his extreme feats, having run more than 11,720 miles around the perimeter of the United States in 2007 to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Denver. He has also run across the US twice.
His latest attempt was to raise awareness and funds for Plant Unity, a non-profit organisation aiming to create educational opportunities for children around the world. Baluchi is not disheartened by the failure to complete the challenge: "My goal is to finish the trip. It's like chasing a dream.”