Friday 27 April 2018

Woman halts Cuba-Florida swim bid

Diana Nyad has abandoned a bid to swim from Cuba to Florida (AP)
Diana Nyad has abandoned a bid to swim from Cuba to Florida (AP)

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad has ended her attempt to become the first person to swim the shark-filled Florida Straits without the aid of a safety cage.

A Twitter feed for the 61-year-old said she halted her bid to swim from Cuba to Florida after 29 hours.

Elaine Lafferty, who is on the accompanying boat according to Ms Nyad's blog, posted on Twitter: "It's over." She added that "the combination of factors was too much to safely continue",

Ms Lafferty said heavy winds were part of the reason Ms Nyad abandoned the 103-mile journey.

On Monday, her team had reported she was making good headway through the Florida Straits despite some physical complaints. She had hoped to end her swim at Southernmost Point in Key West.

According to her Twitter feed, Ms Nyad was pulled from the water early in the morning, about halfway into the journey which was expected to take 60 hours.

The account reported that she decided to end the swim herself, after "realising the conditions of 5 to 10-knot winds and less than ideal currents".

An online chart plotting her progress showed the Gulf Stream currents pushing her to the east of the intended course.

Ms Nyad was trying to accomplish at 61 what she failed to do at 28 in 1978: swim an estimated 60 hours covering 103 miles from Havana to Key West.

This time, she was even attempting the swim without a shark cage, relying instead on an electrical field from equipment towed by kayakers to keep them at bay.

Press Association

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