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Aussie Swimmer Preps For Cuba-Keys Attempt

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Chloë McCardel  (Source: ChloëMcCardel.com)

Chloë McCardel (Source: ChloëMcCardel.com)

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) — An Australian woman is getting in some practice in the waters off Key West in preparation for her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.

Endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel’s attempt to cross the Florida Straits without a shark cage is set for June. McCardel estimated it would take 60 to 70 hours to complete the longest continuous solo swim in history.

McCardel said that throughout the swim, she will not touch or board the support boat that will be traveling with her nor will she touch another person during the big swim.

The Australian Champion of the English Channel will swim non-stop for the whole 100 mile voyage without a full-length swim suit, wetsuit, flotation device, flippers, snorkel or other “outside” help that would protect her from sharks and harmful jellyfish.

As McCardel sets out to break the solo-swim record, which is currently 67 miles, she will also use this opportunity to raise much needed funds for cancer research and support for those with cancer.

She’s the latest swimmer to try the difficult crossing.

American Diana Nyad has tried four times: once in 1978 with a shark cage, and three times in the last two years without it. After jellyfish thwarted her most recent attempt, in August, Nyad all but ruled out a fifth try.

Strong currents forced Australian Penny Palfrey to abandon her attempt last July.

One Australian has successfully finished the swim. Susie Maroney did it in 1997 with a shark cage.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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