Nyad ends 2nd try at Cuba-to-Florida swim

  • Updated: September 25, 2011 - 6:44 PM

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad on Sunday ended her second attempt in two months to swim from Cuba to Florida after medics warned that another painful sting from a Portuguese man-of-war could be life- threatening.

Nyad was swollen from multiple stings to her face and body, said Vanessa Linsley, a member of her support team. "She's pissed. Nobody blames her. ... You can't control mother nature," Linsley said.

The 62-year-old swimmer had completed at least 49 miles of the 103-mile passage of the treacherous Florida Straits. She soldiered through the stings, at one point cutting eye and mouth holes through a swim cap she wore over her face to prevent more stings. But by late morning, medics warned that toxins from the stings were building up and another sting could be serious.

"I trained this hard for this big dream I had for so many years," Nyad said hours after getting out of the water. "It's a huge disappointment."

Another attempt by Nyad in August to make the crossing fell short by about 29 hours when she abandoned that swim because of an asthma attack she blamed on a bad reaction to a new medicine. Like last time, she was hoping to become the first person to make the trip without protection from a shark cage. Her first try, in 1978 using a cage, ended after about 42 hours.

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Opening statements are set for Tuesday in the Los Angeles trial of the doctor accused of killing Michael Jackson with an overdose of a powerful anesthetic. A jury of seven men and five women was chosen last week for the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Prosecutors contend Murray was negligent in administering a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of the singer's rented mansion without access to proper life-saving equipment. Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, could face four years in prison and loss of his medical license if convicted.

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