Nyad's Fourth Attempt From Cuba Fails
World record-holding distance swimmer Diana Nyad had to cut short her fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys due to rough seas and jellyfish stings on her lips.
The 62-year-old American, who battled squalls, rough seas and jellyfish, had set out from Cuba on Saturday. Nyad spent more than 60 hours in the water before she abandoned the swim. Mark Sollinger, a leader of the crew and support team accompanying Nyad in five boats as she made the attempted crossing, told CNN a powerful and "extremely difficult Gulf Stream" had pushed her badly off course. She had planned to land somewhere in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, a day ahead of her 63rd birthday on Wednesday. But it would have taken her another 28 to 40 hours to complete the crossing at the time she finally gave up, Sollinger said. He said Nyad's lips and face were very swollen and she was suffering from exhaustion. Otherwise, he said, she was doing well for "someone who just spent 63 hours attempting something monumental and extremely dangerous."If she had made it, Nyad (who is openly lesbian) would have set another world record for ocean swimming without a shark cage. Support boats trailing and preceding her had emitted an electrical current to deter attacks.