Entries in Havana (4)


Diana Nyad: Endurance Swimmer Makes Another Attempt to Swim From Cuba to Florida

ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images(HAVANA, Cuba) -- Diana Nyad is swimming her way back to America in a new attempt to become the first person to swim to Florida from Cuba without a shark cage.

Nyad, 62, started the 103-mile journey late Saturday night from Havana, Cuba, where she encountered box jellyfishes and has been stung at least four times already.

"Diana is swimming backstroke right now leading with the cap-covered part of her head to minimize contact. There are so many jellyfish..." a member of Nyad's team posted to her Twitter account.

Observer Steve Munatones said on Nyad's official blog that it will be a long, tough journey for the endurance swimmer.

"If this swim is the equivalent of five English Channels, and I think it is, in terms of time, she's just swum one English Channel, 25 percent of it backstroke," he wrote.

Nyad is still swimming at her regular pace of 50 strokes per minute.

"Today is more like swimming. I don't know what you would call last night ... probably surviving," Nyad said according to her blog.

Nyad ended her last attempt in September 2011 after more than 40 hours and 67 nautical miles of swimming, and two Portuguese Man-of-War stings.

"The medical team said I should not go another two nights in the water and risk additional likely Man-of-War stings which could have a long term cumulative effect on my body. But for each of us, isn't life about determining your own finish line? This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues," Nyad called out to her flotilla of four escort boats from the water, according to her website at the time.

If she had completed that swim, she would have broken her 1979 record, when she swam 102.5 miles from the Bahamas to Florida.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Update: Swimmer Diana Nyad Going ‘Strong’

Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)(HAVANA) -- According to Diana Nyad's Twitter account Monday, the 61-year-old long-distance swimmer is still going "strong" as she tries to swim from Havana, Cuba, to Key West despite the threat of sharks and the overall exhaustion that comes with traveling 103 miles in the ocean.

"If I go unconscious, that's one thing," one tweet read at 12:13 p.m. ET. "But no one is going to make me get out of the water; that will never happen."

On Sunday, at the Hemingway Marina in Havana, before starting the nearly 60-hour journey, the endurance swimmer played "Reveille" on a bugle, thanked those who had come to cheer her on and then entered the water wearing a black swimsuit and blue swim cap.

"The adrenaline's flowing now," Nyad said, looking out at the water. "I think this is my day."

Last month, Nyad told ABC News that an approaching birthday had sparked a desire to attempt a feat she had failed to complete when she was 28 years old.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Defiance Before the Storm: Haitian Refugees Refuse to Flee

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) -- A powerful hurricane is inching its way toward the vulnerable tent cities that surround Port-au-Prince, Haiti. But many of the residents who lost their homes to the devastating January earthquake are refusing to budge this time, even physically ejecting aid workers from their ramshackle camps.

Hurricane Tomas, a Category 1 hurricane with winds whipping up to 85 miles per hour, is due to make landfall on the western end of the island nation where rain is already flooding parts of the country. The storm's outer bands are expected to pound its capital city, which was leveled less than a year ago in an earthquake that killed an estimated 250,000 people and left millions homeless.

Government aid workers used bull horns and leaflets to warn more than a million tent city residents to leave the refugee camps for safer grounds Thursday, but were driven away by the people they attempted to help. There was no real violence, but frustration was evident as people broke equipment and slammed debris on the ground. The crowd booed, trashed the tables and chairs the workers had brought with them, even ripped up the blue and orange bracelets the workers had hoped would mark the evacuees.

Health officials fear that the death toll could rise, not only because of the direct effects of the hurricane, but because the storm will cripple efforts to stem an outbreak of cholera. Haitian health clinics have been battling a cholera outbreak for weeks, with more than 3,000 reported cases and nearly 300 resulting deaths.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


More than 60 Killed After Plane Crash in Havana

Photo Courtesy - Escambray(HAVANA) -- A plane crash in a mountainous area of Cuba Thursday evening has killed all 68 people onboard.  According to state media, the plane was flying from Santiago de Cuba, the largest city in the south, to the capitol Havana when it went down in stormy weather just as the sun was setting.

There are some indications that the plane may have originated in Haiti and carried passengers including people who were fleeing tropical storm Tomas.  At least two dozen of the passengers onboard are said to have been foreigners, according to state media.

The first reports from the ground said that it had been raining hard at the time of the flight.  Heavy rain has been falling on Cuba for several days, as the effects of Tomas linger through the area.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio