Diana Nyad, 64, Embodies Determination: 5th Attempt at Cuba-USA Swim UPDATED

By Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.
August 31, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015

UPDATE: Nyad has been in the water for more than 24 hours and she is doing well. Her blog website has experienced technical difficulties off-and-on since she embarked on her swim from Cuba to Florida Saturday morning, but her support team said there is no need for those following her progress to worry; it is not a sign that Nyad has run into trouble. 

Related: Diana Nyad Swims Further Than Any Other: Nears End of Cuba-USA Swim

“Diana is doing great. Everyone is happy with progress, she’s right on schedule,” said Alex from the social media boat, according to a post on Nyad’s Facebook page Sunday morning. 

Candace from the social media boat reported Saturday night via Facebook: “”Diana, covered from head to foot in protective wear … seemed to become disoriented a few moments ago. (Who wouldn’t?!) The red light streamer she follows—it’s all that she can see and with the wave action how consistently well she can see it is anyone’s guess—is attached to a boom above her and the water drags it below her.”

A post on her blog updating on her progress as of noon reads: “Diana has swum 47.61 statute miles after 27 hours of swimming. Her average speed has increased to 1.76 miles per hour.”

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Original article: 

Diana Nyad, 64, dropped her white robe and dived into the water off the shore of Havana, Cuba, at 8:59 a.m. Saturday morning. She is expected at the Florida Keys some 60 hours later. If she makes it, she will be the first person to complete the swim without a shark cage, flippers, or wet suit, reported CNN.

It is her fifth attempt over a 35 year period.

Lori Rehfeldt wrote on Nyad’s Facebook page: “Diana is defined by her determination and for that I admire her. She never gives up, and that is an amazing legacy for all of us.”

Nyad said in a press conference Friday, according to her blog: “My heart is with this swim, from Cuba to Florida, and there is a part of me that doesn’t ever, ever want to give up. This dream is alive.”

The blog follows her progress on the 103-mile journey. The latest update as of noon stated that she had paused for her first feeding at 10:30 a.m. EDT. A spot near her armpit was chaffing, but she was otherwise in good condition. 

She commented, “Could the water be any bluer?” A helper named Pauline responded, “It matches your suit and your cap.”

“I was trying for that,” Nyad joked. “Fashion, you know.”

Australian endurance swimmer Susie Maroney succeeded on the swim in 1997 at the age of 22 with a shark cage, reported CNN. The cage protects against waves and weather hazards as well as sharks. Other swimmers have tried since, but none have succeeded. 

Nyad’s previous attempts met with obstacles such as dehydration and jellyfish stings, reported CNN. 

Denise Hammock wrote on Nyad’s Facebook page: “You are the most determined woman ever. I’m rooting for you!”

Ginger Garrett wrote: “Diana is not trying to swim from Cuba to Florida. She is doing it!”

Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.