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Coast Guard rescues Fla. man at sea in floating bubble -- again

Long-distance runner Reza Baluchi in his floating bubble in 2014.

CBS News

MIAMI-- Authorities say a Florida man bidding to reach Bermuda in an inflatable bubble has been rescued again by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said that long-distance runner Reza Baluchi was picked up Sunday off Florida and his "hydropod" was being towed to shore.

His rescue was voluntary.

Barney says the man set out from Pompano Beach on Saturday despite receiving an April 15 letter from the Coast Guard warning him not to depart. The Coast Guard said it had reviewed Baluchi's plan and determined it to be unsafe.

The letter was posed by the Coast Guard on Twitter.

Baluchi tried to make a similar attempt to reach Bermuda in 2014 and had to be rescued. He was picked up that time about 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine.

In 2014, after two days at sea with little more than protein bars and bottled water, a Coast Guard cutter located Baluchi. Disoriented, he was making little progress and asked fishermen and boaters for directions to Bermuda.

Despite repeated warnings about possible dangers, he told a Coast Guard captain in 2014 he was not about to give up.

"I think you're going to have a very hard time punching through the Gulf Stream and heading east to make Bermuda," the captain warned Baluchi.

Baluchi responded that he had been practicing two years for the journey.

"So you are declining to stop your voyage at this time and embark the Coast Guard cutter?" the captain asked.

"I am continuing to go," Baluchi said.

But Baluchi's locator beacon was activated, prompting a Coast Guard rescue operation. He was plucked from his bubble and brought ashore.

Baluchi said in 2014 that he never needed to be rescued and the beacon went off by accident. He was treated and released.

"I see some helicopter coming," Baluchi said. "Some person come in front of my bubble and kick my bubble. 'You ok? You need emergency doctor?' I say, 'no.'"

Baluchi was granted asylum in America in 2003 after being exiled from his native Iran for having pro-Western sympathies.

He's since set endurance records for running around the perimeter of the United States.