64-year-old woman becomes first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage
Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad succeeds on fifth attempt at crossing after she first tried in 1978
Diana Nyad, an endurance swimmer from New York, has become the first swimmer to make the 110 mile journey from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida without the use of a shark cage.
The 64-year-old, who has already attempted the journey five times in the last 36 years, swam continuously for 53 hours, wearing a full body suit, gloves and boots and a specially designed silicone mask to protect her from jellyfish.
Wading out of the water at Key West, Florida, Nyad appeared sunburnt, exhausted and dazed as a crowd of supporters surrounded her to celebrate the world record. Nyad’s lips also appeared bruised and swollen as a result of the protective mask she had worn during the journey.
“You are never too old to chase your dreams,” Nyad said as she emerged from hospital several hours after being treated for dehydration, swelling and sunburn.
Barack Obama was among the many public officials and celebrities who wished the 64-year-old congratulations, tweeting: “Never give up on your dreams.”
Diana Nyad first came to prominence as an endurance swimmer in 1975, when she swam the circumference of Manhattan.
She then attempted the long distance journey from Cuba to the US five times, first in 1978 at the age of 28.
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...
£230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Residential Conveyancer - Wiltshire We have a...