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After 29 hours in the water, American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has abandoned her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.
After 29 hours in the water, American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has abandoned her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. The 61-year-old Nyad was attempting to become the first person to swim between the two countries without the aid of a shark cage.
CNN reports that Nyad was brought aboard one of the boats accompanying her during the swim at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday. The network says that she was vomiting.
"I am not sad," Nyad said. "It was absolutely the right call."
According to CNN, Nyad had been suffering from through ocean swells, shoulder pain and asthma. Even with the best conditions, the 103-mile swim was expected to take 60 hours.
"Realizing the conditions of 5 to 10 knot winds and less than ideal currents, Diana herself decided to end the swim," Nyad's Twitter account announced on Tuesday. "Earlier in the evening, she was surrounded by dolphins and a beautiful Caribbean sunset. But strong currents blew her 15mph off course."
The swim was Nyad's second attempt to make it from Cuba to Florida. In 1978, when she was 28 years old, Nyad swam inside a shark cage for 42 hours before sea currents forced her to quit. In pre-swim interviews, Nyad told CNN that when she turned 60 she "started thinking what if I went back and started to chase that elusive dream of Cuba."
Nyad trained for two years in preparation, swimming up to 12 hours a day. Part of her motivation was also to make a statement about age.
"I'm almost 62 years old and I'm standing here at the prime of my life," she told CNN as she approached the water Sunday night. "I think this is the prime. When one reaches this age, you still have a body that's strong but now you have a better mind."