Nyad Attempts Cuba-Florida Swim Again

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 8:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has begun her second attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage after falling short of her goal recently.

Nyad set out from Havana's Hemingway Marina Friday for the swim, which will take about 60 hours and cover 166 kilometers. Earlier, she said weather forecasts called for calm seas through Sunday.

Last month, Nyad spent nearly 30 hours in the water before abandoning the effort because of asthma, shoulder pain and battering wind and waves.

If the 62-year-old Nyad succeeds this time, she will become the first person to swim the stretch of ocean without a shark cage. She will rely on special equipment that surrounds her with an electrical current aimed at shielding her from the predators. Nyad will be accompanied by a small fleet of boats.

In 1978, Nyad tried the same swim but ended that attempt after 42 hours due to high winds and rough seas. On that attempt, Nyad, who was then 28 years old, used a shark cage.

Australian swimmer Susan Maroney completed the swim in 1997 with the use of a cage. Maroney was 22 years old at the time.