Cuba | Diana Nyad | Florida | News | Swimming

Diana Nyad Begins Swim from Cuba to Florida without Shark Cage: VIDEO


Sixty-one-year-old former world-record holder and out lesbian swimmer Diana Nyad set off on a 103-mile swim today across open water from Cuba to Florida, through the Straits of Florida. Nyad is swimming without a shark cage. If she completes the swim, she'll be the first to do it without the cage.

Nyad played 'Reveille' on a bugle before plunging into the water and beginning her swim.

Nyad2 Said Nyad earlier in the day: "I also want it to be a moment for thousands, and I dare say millions of people my age, who are going to look and say, '60!' The joke is 60 is the new 40, and it's true. We are a younger generation than the 60 that went before us."

The AP adds:

Nyad will be relying on special equipment that surrounds her with an electric current imperceptible to humans but strong enough to keep most sharks at bay. Whitetip sharks are not deterred by the field, so divers will be standing by to gently discourage any of those who get curious - without harming them.

In 1979, Nyad set a world-record for open water swimming without a cage, on a 102.5 mile swim from the Bahamas to Florida.

Watch the beginning of her swim, AFTER THE JUMP....

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  1. Now try swimming it while pulling everything you own in an inner tube and the Coast Guard shooting rubber bullets at you.

    Posted by: Jett Stone | Aug 8, 2011 10:02:57 AM

  2. If you're going through all the trouble of having an electric field and a group of on-hand divers to scare away sharks, how is that much more of an accolade than swimming it with the cage?

    Posted by: luminum | Aug 8, 2011 10:13:45 AM

  3. good question LUMMINUM

    Posted by: say what | Aug 8, 2011 10:55:33 AM

  4. @luminum; the 'shark cage' creates a sort of a wake of negative pressure that assists the swimmer by reducing relative drag...a bit like the difference between running a marathon on a treadmill (keeping up with the belt) and on the streets (propelling yourself through space). either way, amazing effort.

    Posted by: sean | Aug 8, 2011 12:21:36 PM

  5. This is a very inspiring effort and I can't wait to see how Diana does.

    Posted by: rb | Aug 8, 2011 2:19:08 PM

  6. GO, Diana!

    Posted by: Perry | Aug 8, 2011 6:42:15 PM

  7. 29+ hours and at least a third of the way. She had to call it off but wow. Wow!

    Posted by: gj | Aug 9, 2011 11:45:02 PM

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