Swimmer launches fourth bid to cross Florida Straits

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Veteran US endurance swimmer Diana Nyad set off Saturday on her fourth attempt to swim the treacherous waters from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Nyad, who turns 63 on Wednesday, hit the water at 3:42 pm (19H42 GMT). The departure was pushed up a day over fears of poor weather. Wearing a blue and black bathing suit and a blue swim cap, the swimmer briefly thanked her assistants, the journalists watching and others. “Thanks for coming,” she said, adding the single word “courage,” before she jumped in for the 165-kilometer (103-mile) trek that she projects will take some 60 hours. Nyad admitted earlier to feeling nervous. “I think it’s healthy. When you have a respect for something, you have some fear,” the swimmer told reporters at the Marina Hemingway, the Havana yacht club where she started the swim. “There is some fear, but there’s also courage, and these three days, I need the courage to be stronger than the fear,” she said, adding that she couldn’t sleep all night in anticipation.