KEY WEST (CBS4) – A Miami Beach lifeguard is hoping the second time will be the charm as she attempts to be the first person to paddleboard across the Florida Straits from near Cuba to Key West.

Cynthia Aguilar started the estimated 100- to 110-mile, 30- to 40-hour journey Wednesday morning, about 14 miles off the Cuban coast.

She hopes to become the first solo prone paddleboarder (propelling the board with her arms) to not only cross the straits but also set a record for the longest nonstop prone paddle.

Aguilar attempted a similar feat last September, but encountered strong currents and suffered Portuguese Man o’ War stings forcing her to end the trip.

Her effort, along with a documentary, are to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, a non-profit that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Aguilar’s progress can be tracked on the Web via Spot satellite locator.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)


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