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Asylum-Seeker Attempts to Cross the Atlantic in “Hamster Wheel of Doom”



Clear Facts:

  • Reza Baluchi, an asylum-seeker from Iran, attempted to cross the Atlantic in a “floating hamster wheel,” leading to U.S. Coast Guard intervention.
  • This marks yet another rescue, with previous attempts in 2014, 2016, and 2021 costing taxpayers significant sums.
  • While dreams and aspirations are laudable, the financial burden on U.S. citizens and potential risks to service members raise concerns about the permissibility of such endeavors.

Once again, Reza Baluchi, an Iranian asylum-seeker now residing in Florida, has grabbed headlines with his audacious attempt to traverse the Atlantic in what can only be described as a “floating hamster wheel.”

While the story itself may be amusing, the consistent efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue Mr. Baluchi and the subsequent cost to taxpayers are no laughing matter.

On August 26, the Coast Guard cutter Valiant came across Baluchi, approximately 70 nautical miles east of Tybee Island, Ga. This was during preparations for Hurricane Franklin, adding to the inherent dangers of the situation.

When asked for his destination, Baluchi claimed he was heading to London, England — an astounding 4,000 miles away.

Following repeated altercations and threats of self-harm, the Coast Guard was able to secure him and his hydro-pod vessel on August 29, eventually releasing him in Miami Beach after a hefty $250,000 bond was secured.

This isn’t the first time taxpayers have funded Baluchi’s quixotic endeavors. The man has made numerous attempts in similar makeshift vessels in 2014, 2016, and 2021.

Former U.S. Coast Guard officer, Todd Coggeshall, recalled the 2014 attempt, branding it as the “hamster wheel of doom.”


The rescue efforts and destruction of Baluchi’s previous “bubble” vessel in 2016 cost taxpayers a staggering $144,000.

While Baluchi’s dreams may appear commendable to some, the financial burden on U.S. citizens and the danger posed to Coast Guard officers are undeniable.

As a nation that values fiscal responsibility and the safety of our service members, it’s essential to question the continued indulgence of such reckless endeavors.

We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. Sandra

    September 12, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    Tell him, in no uncertain terms, that the next time he attempts this activity, he will NOT be rescued. You can’t continue to save idiots from themselves.

  2. Lew Talbert

    September 12, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    Anyone that is willing to try to go out on the open ocean in a home made contraption like this is an idiot and is not deserving of rescue. We should save the taxpayers’ money and let these folks fend for themselves. It is that simple.

  3. Oldwestman

    September 13, 2023 at 1:00 am

    We can piss away billions of dollars to help Ucraine, and you are worried about a meassealy $144,000 ? The congress pisses away that much on luch each week.

  4. Rosie

    September 13, 2023 at 8:35 am

    And yet, no one blinks an eye at the astronomical costs of “rescuing” and settling the millions of “asylum seekers” pouring over our southern border. Hmmm. Shows how well conditioned we are by our government.

    • Steely

      September 13, 2023 at 7:50 pm

      This man has the right to venture out into the open ocean and very likely kill himself in the process. He is drawn to it, it’s where his fate lies. He doesn’t want to be rescued and he isn’t hurting anyone. Good grief, just let him be!

  5. Patty

    September 14, 2023 at 1:42 am

    So let him go, we don’t have to keep “ rescuing “ him! Let him fend fo himself.

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