OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA, September 25. OPEN water legend Diana Nyad has ended her third attempt to swim from Havana to Cuba, her team announced this morning.
Nyad officially stopped swimming at 11 a.m. Eastern time, about 40 hours and 67 miles from her starting point in Havana. It marked nearly two days of medical drama, as well as near scares when she was visited by barracudas and an Oceanic white-tipped shark, according to posts on Nyad's website. Reports indicate that ocean currents were starting push Nyad well off course.
Last night, Nyad had to stop her swim briefly to receive medical treatment for jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war stings. According to independent consultants monitoring the swim, Nyad's attempt became a staged swim instead of a nonstop swim, as long as she continued her swim at the same point after receving treatment for the stings. Nyad continued swimming after receiving medical treatment, but was doing so with swelling in the hands and face.
This morning, her medical team advised against swimming any further. More jellyfish stings would have resulted in sever physical damage that would have definitely ended her quest, according to Nyad's website.
"The medical team said I should not go another two nights in the water and risk additional likely Man-of-War stings which could have a long-term cumulative effect on my body," Nyad posted on her Facebook page. "But for each of us, isn't life about determining your own finish line? This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues."
Today was Nyad's third failed attempt to make the 103-mile swim, but it is the furthest she has swum from Havana. She had tried before in 1978, as well as last August.