Diana Nyad Tries to Set Swim Record Anew

Diana Nyad will try to defy nature and human endurance anew as she began a non-stop swim from Cuba to Florida late Friday.

The 62-year-old New Yorker already holds the record for non-stop swimming without a wet suit, but is aiming to rewrite history books by embarking on the dangerous 103-mile Cuba-Florida route. Nyad’s team has been continuously releasing updates on the record attempt through social media, including Twitter. In tweets Saturday morning, the team said that Nyad had been stung by Portuguese Man O’ War but she has recovered from the siphonophore attacks and was able to swim just the same although her speed has dropped from 55 strokes per minute to 48.

The attempt could last about 60 hours, and Nyad expects to encounter all kinds of problems. “I know I’m going to be cold,” Nyad said before her latest attempt to conquer the route. “I know I’m going to run into all kinds of jellyfish and the nights are going to be long.” She first attempted to cross from Cuba to Florida in 1978, but unlike her current quest, she swam inside a shark cage back then. Her 1978 attempt was cut short after covering 76 miles due to strong winds. Last month, she also tried to complete the crossing but was forced to stop after 29 hours of swimming due to asthma attacks.