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August 21st, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Nyad quits swim after storm, jellyfish stings – Team Nyad's Sollinger says swim was 'life threatening'

Havana, Cuba (CNN) - Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad's latest attempt to swim across the Straits of Florida ended Tuesday morning after severe jellyfish stings and a lightning storm put her off course, her team said.

She had been in the water for 60 hours and was about halfway through her swim from Cuba to Florida.

Nyad was stung by jellyfish overnight, and a major lightning storm put anyone in the water in extreme danger, said Mark Sollinger, Nyad's operations chief. He said the 62-year-old exhausted swimmer was pulled out as the dangers mounted.

"With all the threats continuing, Diana decided that it was not a risk that we wanted to take," Sollinger said.

Nyad's lips and face are swollen, but she is holding up "as well as someone who just spent 63 hours" performing a "monumental and extremely dangerous" feat, Sollinger told CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

Sollinger described her achievement as "huge," despite having to stop before she reached Florida.

"It's a cross between being down, being so tired because everyone wanted this so much, and a huge sense of accomplishment," he said. "Nobody in the world would even attempt this, but we did."

See more from Sollinger's interview in the clip above.

Read More: Nyad quits swim after storm, jellyfish stings


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