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Diana Nyad makes third Cuba-Florida swim attempt

Diana Nyad, 62, is shown swimming in this August 2012 photo.
August 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Los Angeles endurance athlete is making her third attempt in less than a year to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

Diana Nyad, 62, hit the water on Saturday, one day earlier than expected.

The 103-mile swim was set to take an estimated 60 hours to complete. Nyad was reported to be comfortable and confidant Sunday afternoon, going at a rate of about 50 strokes per minute. She takes periodic short breaks to rest, hydrate and eat high-energy foods like peanut butter.

An asthma attack and painful jellyfish stings forced Nyad to quit earlier attempts. Jellyfish presented a similar hurdle this time around as well, despite a new-and-improved bodysuit she hoped would offer better protection. She was stung four times overnight on the neck, lips, hand and forehead, according to members of her 50-person crew, who updated fans via social media.

At 18 hours into the swim, she had traveled 21.7 miles from Havana. Choppy seas were calmer, and her team reported only a light wind.

If she succeeds this time, she will arrive in Florida on Tuesday, one day before her 63rd birthday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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