HAVANA TIMES — Australian swimmer Chloë McCardel has abandoned her quest to swim from Cuba to the United States after being bitten repeatedly by jellyfish, her team said today in the social networks.
McCardel, 28, had to give up his attempt to swim the 100 miles (161 kilometers) through the Straits of Florida to Key West after 11 hours.
“Apparently, Chloë suffered several bites on the face and mouth, and the swelling brought concern regarding her respiratory efficiency,” wrote her colleagues on Facebook.
The Australian has been transferred by boat to Key West, where she hoped to swim in about 60 hours. McCardel hoped to become the first person to cover the distance without the protection of a shark cage.
“It is the world’s toughest swim,” she said Tuesday in Havana the day before beginning the test. The Australian, who has swam the English Channel and won the Manhattan Marathon Swim in 2010, set out to sea on Wednesday morning on the outskirts of the Cuban capital.
The US swimmer Daina Nyad, 63, and Australian Penny Palfrey also failed in the last two years with attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida.
The Australian Susie Maroney was the first to complete the distance in 1997, although she did it protected by a shark cage.
Nyad failed last year in her fourth attempt to reach the coast of Florida from Havana. Jellyfish stings and a strong storm in August 2012 forced her out of the water after 40 hours swimming.