This past Sunday marathon swimmer Diana Nyad had to stop short of her goal of swimming between Cuba and the Florida Keys. At the age of 62, Nyad says that she is in the best shape of her life. She has attempted the swim two prior times; neither time resulted in success. The Australian swimmer Susie Maroney successfully completed the swim in 1997 using a shark cage. Nyad’s goal is to be the first to successfully complete the swim without using a shark cage. Her attempt fell short this past week due to the dangerous welts left on her body by the jelly fish like stings from numerous Portuguese man o’ war. Nyad ended her trek early when medics informed her that one more sting could be deadly.
Nyad’s goal may seem like an individual one, but I do not see it that way. She has a complete team of many people with her throughout every stroke of her journey. I am wondering, if Nyad would have wanted to press on despite her teams warnings, at what point, if any, would it be alright to pull her unwillingly from the water? If something were to go wrong with Nyad, not only would she be injured, but she could possibly put another one of her team member’s life in danger. I believe that when she has reached a point where a fatality is almost certain, then her team has the right to intervene, not only for her safety, but for everyone’s well-being.