Lifestyle & Belief

62-year-old Diana Nyad attempts Cuba-to-Florida swim again

Diana Nyad is back in the water. The 62-year-old marathon swimmer is making another attempt to set a new record for open-water swimming without a shark cage, the Associated Press reports, by swimming from Cuba to Florida.

She last attempted the feat in August, but was forced out of the water after 29 hours due to an asthma attack. The current 103-mile swim is expected to take Nyad 60 hours.

The AP reports that Nyad's departure from Hemingway Marina on Friday evenings was more subdued this time around.

"Not that I was ever cocky, but having been through this now and been so deeply, emotionally disappointed, I don't want to take anything for granted," Nyad said. "It's not that I don't want to enjoy every moment and savor it, but it doesn't do any good to act like, 'Hey I've got this in the bag, this is going to be easy.'"

The Cuba-to-Florida attempt is actually Nyad's third. In 1978, when she was 28 years old, Nyad swam for 42 hours inside a shark cage before ending her attempt.

Before setting out on Friday, Nyad told CNN that her failed attempt in August may be an asset now.

“The asthma took me down, but ironically enough, that 29-hour swim was like a very, very expensive training swim,” she said.

Saturday morning, news came that Nyad had hit her first big obstacle: a jellyfish. From CNN:

The 62-year-old swimmer had to clear herself of tentacles, change her swimsuit and put on a shirt for protection after she was stung, but has now resumed progress after treading water for a period to recover and rehydrate.

On Nyad's Twitter feed, her chief handler, Bonnie Stoll, said Nyad had been "stung along both arms the side of her body and her face."

On Saturday morning, the Twitter feed said that "[Nyad's] usual stroke pace, between 52 and 55 strokes per minute, has dropped to 48, but she is able to swim." By 8:57 a.m., Nyad and her flotilla of supporters were about 25 miles from Cuba.

According to the AP, Nyad weighed herself before going in to the water on Friday. She weighed 146 pounds then, but is expected to lose 15 pounds during the swim.