Diana Nyad ends Cuba-to-Florida swim short of goal (+video)
Diana Nyad ended her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida Tuesday a.m. after a night of jelly fish stings, storms, and sharks. This was Nyad's fourth attempt to swim the 103-mile crossing.
Key West, Fla.
Nyad emerged from the water at 7:42 a.m. A team member, Vanessa Linsley, said the swimmer was battered by a rough night and was finished with her effort to become the first person to swim the 103-mile (166-kilometer) crossing without a shark cage.
"Instead of getting hit with one doozy they got hit with three," Linsley said, "They got hit with the weather, they got hit with the jellyfish and they got hit with the sharks all at the same time."
Nyad, who turns 63 on Wednesday, was making her third attempt since last summer to become the first person to cross the Florida Straits without a shark cage. She also made a failed try with a cage in 1978.
The overnight hours Tuesday marked the second straight night of storms encountered by the swimmer. On Monday evening, the swimmer's crew was improvising ways to prevent hypothermia and to fend off further swelling of her lips and tongue. Though she's swimming in 85-degree Fahrenheit (29.5-Celsiu) waters, because that is lower than the body's core temperature, it will reduce her body temperature over time. Her team said she had been shivering.
"We all know her mind can handle it," Candace Hogan, a crew member traveling with Nyad, wrote on the swimmer's blog. "But there will always be a point where a human body can't go any farther. What no one knows is where that line is drawn in Diana Nyad."