A man trapped inside an inflatable hydro bubble – off the Miami coast was rescued by U.S. Coast guard officials after they received reports of a middle aged man who went missing. The man, later identified as Reza Balunchi was reportedly disoriented inside the hydro bubble and was asking for directions to Bermuda! The man who was last seen on October 1, 2014 was rescued by the U.S. Coast guard on October 4 after he activated an emergency personal indicating radio beacon. The details of the man’s rescue was released by the U.S. Coast Guard in a press release.
Meanwhile, WTSP reports that the man was assisted by an MH-60 aircrew stationed at the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. Reza Balunchi was evacuated 70 nautical miles east of the coast of St. Augustine, Florida, Oct. 4, 2014.
According to the report, Balunchi was in a mission to reach Bermuda on his hydro bubble. Days into his voyage, he became disoriented and was finally located by the U.S. Coast Guard. After he was located, his hydro bubble was intercepted by the Coast Guard Cutter Webber. Coast Guard personnel then conveyed to Reza about the dangers that he may be exposed to should he continue his voyage to Bermuda and asked him to terminate the trip as he was running low on supplies on board the hydro bubble. Reza had a few protein bars, bottled water, a GPS device and a satellite phone with him.
Here is a video of the rescue.
However, an adamant Reza refused to leave the hydro bubble. The Coast Guard however continued to monitor his movements. Finally, after Reza activated his Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) on Saturday morning, a Coast Guard HC-130 airplane and MH-60 helicopter crews along with the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) Maersk Montana was sent out to rescue him. Once rescue crews reached the hydro bubble, the inflatable raft was hoisted on to the rescue helicopter. Balunchi was eventually transported back to Air Station Clearwater where he went a medical examination by emergency medical services.
Reza Balunchi is now safe and there were no reports of any injuries during the rescue operation. It is yet unclear as to why Reza Balunchi wanted to reach Bermuda alone on his inflatable hydro bubble!