Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has been forced to abandon her attempt to swim the treacherous waters from Cuba to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage.
The 61 year old suffered from extreme shoulder pain, an asthma attack and unusually large ocean swells and eventually had to end her challenge. At one point her crew recorded 11 knot winds and 4-5 feet high waves, which began only 90 minutes into the swim. Nyad had first attempted to make the 103 mile journey 33 years ago, and was keen to complete it this year to promote her philosophy of making the most of life, and especially not to be put off by getting older.
It had taken two years of bureaucratic battles with the Cuban authorities to get permission, and many, many more years of training, but it seems now that there will not be a third attempt. This was my fairy tale year, when it all came together, Nyad said. 'I can't swear, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to my grave without swimming from Cuba to Key West'. And remind me that I said that.