KEY WEST, Florida, August 9. LEGENDARY marathon swimmer Diana Nyad has ended her quest today to become the first person to swim unaided from Cuba to Florida, citing poor weather conditions.
Nyad left the coast of Havana late Sunday afternoon, with the goal of swimming the approximately 103 miles to southern Florida. After 29 hours of nonstop swimming — aside from breaks to take in fluids and food — Nyad touched a support boat after wind conditions and water current began pulling her east and off the planned course.
CNN reported that Nyad was helped on board at 12:45 a.m. Eastern time this morning and arrived at a Key West, Fla., hospital a few hours later for routine examinations.
"I am not sad. It was absolutely the right call," she said.
In addition to battling the weather and the ocean, Nyad was suffering from shoulder pains, switching strokes throughout the swim in an effort to alleviate the stress on her shoulder.
This was the second time Nyad had to end her Cuba-Florida swim early. In 1978, she stopped shortly after the halfway mark when currents pushed her off the course. She had planned to do the swim last year, but logistics and the weather did not cooperate.
Susan Maroney was the first to swim successfully from Cuba to Florida in May 1997, using a shark cage the entire time.