Grandmother gives up try to swim from Cuba to U.S.

A marathon swimming grandmother has ended her attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to the U.S. without a shark cage.

Penny Palfrey’s Twitter account says she had to be pulled out of the water early Sunday because of a strong southeast current that made it impossible for her to continue swimming.

The 49-year-old grandmother had been swimming for more than 40 hours.

Her support team said earlier Ms. Palfrey has been swimming well, but had suffered numerous jellyfish stings and had briefly spotted hammerhead sharks. Ms. Palfrey was using equipment that emits an electrical field to keep the sharks away.

Ms. Palfrey, who is the mother of three and the grandmother of two, completed more than 140 kilometers (87 miles) of the 166-kilometer journey Saturday.

The British-Australian woman had expected her swim through the shark-infested Florida Straits to take as long as 50 hours.

Ms. Palfrey had wanted to break her own world record for the longest unassisted ocean swim, which she set last year when she swam 109 kilometers (68 miles) without a shark cage or wetsuit in the Cayman Islands, south of Cuba.

Ms. Palfrey’s aborted swim through the Florida Straits comes after 62-year-old U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad tried twice last year to make the trek without a cage, but was not successful.

Australian Susie Maroney swam the straits at age 22 in 1997 using a shark cage for protection

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