Swimmer abandons attempt to cross between Cuba, US

Updated: 2013-06-13 20:56


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HAVANA - The Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel abandoned her attempt to become the first person to cross from Cuba to the United States without an anti-shark cage, after suffering jellyfish stings in her face, her team announced through the social networks.

McCardel abandoned after 11 hours and 13 miles in the water, due to a severely debilitating jellyfish sting that made it impossible to continue, according to the text published in her Twitter account and Facebook.

According to the sources, the marathoner swimmer, 28, received several stitches in his face and mouth, which raised concerns about possible effects on respiratory efficiency.

The athlete and her team are currently in the US territory of Key West, where she is recovering, before deciding on her future plans, the text added.

In case of success, McCardel would have been the first person to cover the 90 miles separating Havana and the United States, two ideological enemies without formal relations since 1961.

At a press conference on Monday, she said that her challenge to swim over the Straits intended to join both peoples and countries, separated by the political conflict.

Though these waters are shark-infested, the jellyfishes have shown be the main rivals to overcome in this and other previous attempts. Other swimmers have tried unsuccessfully to travel over the Straits of Florida.

The most recent case was American Diana Nyad, 63, who quitted her fourth attempt, in August 21, 2012, after two days at sea fighting against the jellyfishes and a storm.

Seven weeks before the British-Australian Penny Palfrey, 49, also failed after 40 hours of swimming.

The first and only person, so far, who has managed to swim from Havana to Key West, is the Australian Susan Maroney in 1997, being 22 at the moment, but she did it protected by a cage.