Diana Nyad made it farther than she ever has in her previous three attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida, but, like those other three tries, this one has come to a premature end.
Early Tuesday morning Nyad and her team decided to call off her attempt to become the first person to swim the Florida Straits without a shark cage -- a day before her 63rd birthday -- due to storms, jellyfish stings and the threat of sharks.
“We pulled her out of the water,” Steve Munatones, the swim’s official observer, told “Good Morning America.” “The dangers were so great that we couldn’t risk anyone’s life, including her own.”
According to a post on the swimmer’s blog by one of her crew members, Monday night was especially rough for Nyad, who was attempting to outlast a second storm, fight off hypothermia and endure nine jellyfish stings that night alone before being pulled from the water at 12:55 a.m.
Even with her face, lips and tongue swollen from the stings and her escort boats being tossed by the storm, Nyad initially argued with her crew that she wanted to go back into the water before eventually being convinced that it was no longer safe for her or her crew members.
According to the blog, Nyad was in the water about the same amount of time (41 hours, 45 minutes) as her first attempt back in 1978 -- the only one in which she swam in a shark cage -- she covered more distance this time around and was hoping finally to complete her quest sometime Tuesday.
It was her third attempt since last summer to make the swim without using a shark cage.