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Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 08/21/2012

Diana Nyad ends swim from Cuba to Florida (updated)


Diana Nyad battled a squall and jellyfish stings on her fourth attempt to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Florida. (HANDOUT / Reuter)
Updated with further information at 1:32 p.m.; originally filed at 8:09 a.m.

A day short of her 63rd birthday, Diana Nyad was pulled from the water today, ending her open-water swim from Cuba to Florida because of jellyfish stings and other physical problems, sharks and storms.

Nyad was about halfway through her fourth attempt at the 103-mile swim when it ended at 12:55 a.m. EDT, according to her blog. Her team had previously tweeted that she had left the water at 7:42 a.m. and there was no explanation for the change.

Crew member Candace Hogan blogged that Nyad wanted to resume her swim after leaving the water because of a storm. She also had been trailed by sharks, that were shooed away by kayakers who accompanied Nyad. “When can I get back in?” Hogan wrote that Nyad asked. “ ‘I want full transparency that I was out. But I have plenty left in me and I want to go on.’ ”

Nyad’s swim lasted 41 hours and 45 minutes, longer than any of her previous efforts, before the danger became simply overwhelming.

“We pulled her out of the water,” Steve Munatones, the official observer of the swim and editor of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, told “Good Morning America.” “The dangers were so great that we couldn't risk anyone's life, including her own.”


Diana Nyad swam with her crew in the Florida Straits on Sunday. (Christi Barli / AP)

Nyad, according to “GMA,” had severe sunburn and a strained biceps and could barely walk. Nyad and her crew were en route to Key West, where she was expected to receive medical treatment.

Nyad had battled through a storm that had taken her off-course and, early Tuesday morning, her website had reported that she was “about 55 miles off the coast of Key West. Right now, they are waiting out the storm. Everyone is safe. Diana is a little chilly, but holding up well.”

In each of her swims, Nyad has been stung by jellyfish and, on her first night in the water Saturday, she was stung on her lips, forehead, hands and neck. “She did the Diana Nyad thing and powered through it,” Mark Sollinger, the swimmer's operations director, told CNN. Nyad's lips and tongue became increasingly swollen overnight, according to ABC News.

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By  |  01:49 PM ET, 08/21/2012

 
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