Will it be fifth time lucky for Diana Nyad? The 64-year-old swimmer is once again attempting to cross from Cuba to Florida. Her last attempt in 2012 ended in failure, but if she succeeds she will shatter the world record distance for an open water swim.
She will be equipped with gloves and a mask and snorkel to protect against jellyfish, but will not use a shark cage.
“It’s been thrilling for me. It was 35 years ago, it still is. To do something that no one on this earth has ever done. It’s all been a worthwhile expenditure of time. But this time, if I don’t make it, I’m going to stand tall and say: I have nothing more,” she said on setting out.
Her previous attempts were foiled when she suffered severe jellyfish stings and exhaustion while trying to cover the more than 177 kilometres to the Florida Keys. The swim is expected to last some 80 hours.
Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam the Straits in 1997 with a shark cage, which in addition to providing protection from the predators has a drafting effect that pulls a swimmer along.