Diana Nyad’s Troubles In The Middle Of The Strait Of Florida

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Diana Nyad voluntarily pulled herself out of the water at 12:27 am on Tuesday morning after spending 28 hours 42 minutes in the Caribbean.

For the first 12 hours of her swim, Nyad moved powerfully through the water. Confident in her preparations and confident in her team, she had momentum on her side. But over the next several hours, problems started to pop up all over the place for the 61-year-old dynamo.

Right before the 24th hour, Diana found herself in an especially tough spot. She was right in the middle of the Gulf Stream, stopping often and getting pushed away from her goal. With the Gulf Stream running perpendicular to her swimming direction, she was moving faster in the west-to-east direction than the optimal south-to-north direction. She stopped frequently and moaned painfully while she floated on her back.

Something has to give,” she spoke to herself and her crew. [Read More…]

Observer’s Log towards the end:

12:45 pm: 87º water temperature, strokes per minute (SPM): 53
12:46 pm: stop, short of breath, float on back
12:55 pm: freediver in to check out splash nearby
1:05 pm: water stop, float on back, short of breath, 1 minute rest on back, SPM: 53
1:20 pm: calming seas, but not quite flat, SPM: 54 – 1:25 stop again, float on back 30 seconds
1:34 pm: stop, rest on back
1:42 pm: stop, short of breath, doctor into the water and check lungs with stethoscope, inhaler + 5 Hour Energy, Diana chatting and frustrated
1:45 pm: 88ºF water temperature, SPM: 52, light wind from SE
2:10 pm: feed, ice on shoulder
2:25 pm: SPM: 54
2:35 pm: stop
2:45 pm: 87ºF water temperature
3:00 pm: oxygen mask + inhaler
3:10 pm: Beaufort wind scale 1
3:15 pm: water stop
3:30 pm: seas turning sloppy, Beaufort scale 2. Diana making frequent stops
3:45 pm: feed, inhaler, shark diver into water, wind rising, swells forming, frequent stops throughout the hour, SPM: 53
4:30 pm: water stop and floating on back
4:45 pm: large swells, 86ºF water temperature
5:00 pm: feed – complaining of asthma, doctor checks lungs with stethoscope – strong wind coming from East, a few whitecaps
5:40 pm: water stop
5:45 pm: calming seas – frequent stops
Finish point coordinates: N 23º 43.975’, W 81º 58.143’

56.16 miles (48.8 nautical miles) as the crow flies
60 miles on the odometer (over the bottom)

Official finish time was 12:28 pm by David Marchant’s watch with average of 2 other watches at 12:27 pm.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association