Diana Nyad Plans to Swim from Cuba to Florida

Havana, Jul 20. -In the coming days, U.S. long distance swimmer Diana Nyad will try to break her own record in an attempt to swim from the shores of Cuba to Florida, the athlete confirmed Wednesday in a post on her website.The athlete said she is waiting for a forecast of several days of calm winds and waters to begin her swim.

The 61 year-old open-water distance swimmer, who works as a commentator for the Los Angeles-based public radio station KCRW, failed her first attempt in 1978, when she was in her late 20s. She was forced to quit because of strong currents and high winds in the Florida Strais that pushed her off course.

This time, she expects to swim for 60 hours, accompanied by sharks, jellyfish stings, cramps, hallucinations and possible bad weather.

She will have the support of a team of 22 experts, including a satellite oceanographer, meteorologists and physicians, psychologists and divers armed with electronic "shark shields," according to the Cubadebate website.

If she succeeds in making the 165.8-kilometer crossing, Nyad will have broken her own record for longest ocean swim, set in 1979, when she swam from Bimini Island in the Bahamas to the southern U.S. coast.

This time, she will be the first person to make the Cuba-Florida swim without a shark cage.

In 1997, Australian swimmer Susie Maroney completed a similar swim from Havana to Florida, but she did it in a protective metallic cage towed by a barge, which experts said helped her. (Prensa Latina)