Photo: Diana Nyad
Diana Nyad, known for her long-distance swimming on the open sea, kicked off an event Tuesday during which she will swim 48 hours in mid-Manhattan to collect funds for the victims of last year’s Superstorm Sandy.
Nyad, 64, became on Sept. 2 the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark-cage to protect her, in a crossing that took more than 52 hours.
After completing that feat, Nyad announced that she was retiring from long-distance swims to concentrate on beneficent events.
She began swimming at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday inside a swimming pool 37 meters (852 feet) long installed in Herald Square and will be accompanied throughout the 48 hours.
Those swimming with her range from prominent figures like Olympic medalists Nastia Liukin and Ryan Lochte to Sandy victims, first responders and people making donations to swim alongside her and contribute to the charity event.
A native New Yorker, Nyad seeks to collect funds for Sandy victims, which struck the region on Oct. 29, 2012, destroying and damaging tens of thousands of homes.