Australian swimmer to tackle Florida Straits

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 09:50 hrs

Havana, Jan 3 (IANS) Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel plans to swim across the shark-infested waters of the Florida Straits without the protection of a cage, Cuban media announced.

According to Radio Havana Cuba Wednesday, McCardel said she would attempt to swim across "non-stop", which would take 60 or 70 hours, but didn't say when, reports Xinhua.

McCardel, 27, swam the English Channel separating France and Britain in 2011 and again last year, without the use of a cage.

The Florida Straits is a 90-mile wide strip of ocean separating northern Cuba from the island of Key West, off the coast of the US state of Florida.

The area is notoriously full of sharks and the last attempt to swim across without a cage failed, when in 2012, US swimmer Diana Nyad, 63, gave up her fourth attempt after swimming more than half of the way there.

Nyad abandoned the challenge after completing over 60 miles, not because of sharks, but due to incessant jellyfish bites and extreme fatigue from turbulent waters.

In 1997, another Australian, Susie Maroney, succeeded in swimming across the Florida Straits with the protection of a cage.

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