HAVANA - The Australian who had to give up her quest to swim from Cuba to Florida because of jellyfish stings said her run-in with the creatures was unexpected.
Chloe McCardel told The Associated Press on Thursday that she had picked this time of year for her swim because the jellyfish danger is lower.
But late Wednesday, she found herself in a swarm and was severely stung, including painful wounds inside her mouth. The pain was so great that she had to give up her swim after 12 hours, about a fifth of the way through her 110-mile, 60-hour swim.
She was taken by boat to Key West, Fla., where she was recovering Thursday at a hotel.
Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel waves to spectators as she begins her swim to Florida from the waters off Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. McCardel, 29, is bidding to become the first person to make the Straits of Florida crossing without the protection of a shark cage.
American Diana Nyad and Australian Penny Palfrey have attempted the crossing four times between them since 2011, but each time threw in the towel part way through due to injury, jellyfish stings or strong currents.
Australian Susie Maroney did it in 1997, but with a shark cage.