Man rescued from inflatable bubble off coast of Florida

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MIAMI: A marathon runner attempting a bizarre crossing from Florida to Bermuda inside an inflatable bubble has been rescued after succumbing to exhaustion, the US Coast Guard said.

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US citizen Reza Baluchi was pulled from the water off the coast of Florida on Saturday after triggering a radio beacon signalling he needed help, a press release said.

The US Coast Guard said they had first become aware of Baluchi’s odyssey on Wednesday when personnel received a report of “a US citizen floating in an inflatable bubble.”

“Baluchi was reportedly disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda,” the statement said.

A US Coast Guard vessel arrived on the scene and urged Baluchi to halt his trip after “conveying the dangers of his voyage.”

Baluchi, whose bubble was stocked with protein bars, bottled water, a GPS device and a satellite phone, ignored the advice and continued.

However he finally threw in the towel on Saturday, floating 70 nautical miles (130 kilometers) off the Florida coast.

The US Coast Guard scrambled an HC-130 plane and MH-60 helicopter crews from a base in Clearwater, Florida.

A rescue swimmer hoisted Baluchi from an inflatable raft where he was whisked back to land for medical evaluation. There were no reports of injuries, the Coast Guard said.

AFP

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