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Chloë McCardel Defeated By Jellies

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Chloë McCardel’s attempt to be the first person to complete a non-stop swim from Cuba to the US without a shark cage has ended prematurely after 11 hours due to a severe debilitating jellyfish sting.

She is now on one of the support vessels heading to Key West, Florida. She will spend the next 24 hours recuperating before deciding on her plans going forward.

When the sun goes down in the Florida Straits between Cuba and Florida, the photophobic box jellyfish (that live in the depths during the day) come up to the surface of the ocean – in gigantic blooms – so it was not surprising that the most venomous creature on Earth was too much for even the most determined athlete.

The distance, the conditions, the giant eddies, the currents, the sharks had not created challenges for the Australia marathon swimmer over the first 9 hours of her adventure. For 15 km, she was swimming smoothly in generally calm weather conditions in warm seas. Even with a slight current hitting her, it was the dreaded box jellyfish that ended her adventure.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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