Endurance swimmer aborts journey from Cuba to Florida | News | DW | 01.07.2012
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Endurance swimmer aborts journey from Cuba to Florida

Australian swimmer Penny Palfrey has given up her attempt to swim from Cuba to the US after encountering strong currents towards the end of what would have been a record-breaking journey.

Long-distance swimmer Penny Palfrey failed to complete her unassisted swim from Cuba to the United States on Sunday.

Palfrey's team sent an email to reporters in the early hours of the morning saying that the 49-year-old grandmother had to be pulled from the sea "due to a strong southeast current that made it impossible for her to continue her swim."

"Penny is presently on her escort boat being taken care of by her crew," the team said.

Palfrey was trying to become the first person ever to complete the swim without a protective shark cage.

The 166-kilometer (103-mile) stretch of water between Cuba and Florida is renowned for strong currents and unpredictable weather.

The British-born Australian had made it well beyond half distance, though her team did not say precisely where she was forced to abort her quest. Her crew did say on Twitter, however, that she had been in the water for more than 40 hours.

Fellow Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam across the Florida Straits in 1997, aged 22, inside a shark cage.

msh/tj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)