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Diana Nyad Abandons Cuba-To-Florida Swim

Diana Nyad, 61, speaks during a press conference in Havana, Cuba.
Franklin Reyes
Diana Nyad, 61, speaks during a press conference in Havana, Cuba.

Half-way through what was scheduled to be a 60 hour swim, 61-year-old Diana Nyad had to abandon what she called her "Xtreme Dream" — a 103 mile swim from Cuba to Florida.

"It's over. She lasted 29 hours in an heroic attempt," said Elaine Lafferty, one of Nyad's crew members, .

On the same Twitter account, her team said that earlier in the evening Nyad was in the water, "surrounded by dolphins and a beautiful Caribbean sunset." But, they explained, a strong wind "blew her 15mph off course."

As we reported yesterday, this was Nyad's second attempt at completing the swim. The first came in 1978 when Nyad was 28. This time around the world-class endurance swimmer billed the attempt as a celebration of her life's prime.

But at 12:45 a.m. this morning Nyad was pulled onto the boat and CNN reports the 29 hours had taken a toll. Nyad was vomiting.

"I am not sad. It was absolutely the right call," she told CNN.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.