Update 2:30 p.m. EDT: Just before 2 p.m. American long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad reached the Key West shore, completing her goal of swimming from Cuba to Florida. She became the first person to swim the 112-mile distance without the help of a shark cage.
The Associated Press reported that Nyad "looked dazed and sunburned and her lips were swollen," and she was rushed to a hospital by ambulance.
At 11:45 a.m. EDT Nyad alluded to her imminent arrival when she tweeted:
— Diana Nyad (@diananyad) September 2, 2013
The 64-year-old swimmer, who embarked on her fifth and final attempt of swimming the treacherous distance on Saturday, looked dazed and sunburned when she walked on shore, the Associated Press reports.
According to an earlier tweet, the veteran swimmer’s estimated time of arrival in Key West was between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Smather’s Beach.
At around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, her team called her in for food, her first meal since midnight. Nyad reported had a swollen tongue, lips and was slurring her speech. It also took her longer than normal to reach the support boat, CNN reports.
As of 10 a.m. Nyad’s blog reported finding one box jellyfish – am invertebrate known for its deadly venom. Nyad’s team reportedly captured the jellyfish.
“It did not have any tentacles. Diana is still wearing her jellyfish suit and got a reapplication of sting stopper on her hands, face and feet,” Katie Leigh wrote on the website.
To keep Nyad safe, handlers and kayakers led her along a path that has been checked for jellyfish, continually yelling, "Follow the streamer!" While Nyad responds, "I've never been able to follow it in my life!"
Nyad had never gotten so close to the Florida shore in previous attempts. Her first try was in 1978. At the age of 28 she gave up after swimming 76 miles in 42 hours..
Before Nyad, only one swimmer to date has swum the Florida Straights. In 1997, Australian endurance swimmier Susie Maroney, who was 22 at the time, used a shark cage to cross the region in 25 hours.
Roughly three hours before she made landfall, Nyad thanked her support crew from the water.
"I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you," she sad. "Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I've just met. But I'll tell you something, you're a special group. You pulled through; you are pros and have a great heart. So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."
Originally from Montreal, Zoë Mintz joined IBTimes in March 2013. A graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, her writing has...