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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Woman, 61, abandons epic swim

A 61-year-old woman has been forced to abandon her attempt to swim through shark-infested waters from Cuba to Florida.

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad had hoped to be the first to complete the 60-hour swim without the protection of a shark cage.

But she was forced to give up on the record bid after 29 hours, CNN reported.

"I am not sad, It was absolutely the right call," she told CNN, which had a producer on a boat accompanying her on the 103 mile swim.

Ms Nyad failed in her first attempt to complete the crossing from Cuba in 1978, when she was 28.

She set off from Havana on Sunday with the aim of reaching Key West in the Florida Keys on Wednesday.

But the swimmer was struggling with shoulder pain, ocean swells and asthma before she was brought on board a vessel.

It took more than a year of negotiations to get both countries, former Cold War enemies, to allow the epic swim to take place.

It was a huge operation, with support boats carrying medical assistants, nutritionists and a shark protection team.

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