KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) — U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad completed her historic swim from the shores of Cuba to the beach at Key West Monday afternoon.
Nyad is the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
She arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday. She swam about 111 miles.
Once out of the water, she was put on a stretcher and checked out briefly by paramedics than taken Lower Keys Medical Center.
When she came out of the water she said “Life begins at 60.”
The ships accompanying Nyad became visible from the shores of Key West a little before noon as she made her final push to finish the historic swim from Cuba to Florida.
Nyad was welcomed to Key West by more than a hundred people who were cheering and blowing horns as she made her final approach. She first got into the water to begin the swim on Saturday morning.
Nyad, who recently turned 64, tried to complete this swim three previous times in 2011 and 2012. Her last attempt was cut short amid boat trouble, storms, unfavorable currents and box jellyfish stings that left her face puffy and swollen.
Box jellyfish are among the ocean’s deadliest creatures.
Thirty-five years ago, they weren’t an issue but in a recent attempt, she was stung nine times before she was pulled from the water.
This time, Nyad found a solution. In addition to a protective suit, she wore a new piece of equipment. It’s a custom-made silicone mask that includes a mouthpiece to shield her lips, which have been stung in the past.
She believed it made all the difference. As it turns out, she was right.
Nyad has previously said if she failed on this attempt; she wouldn’t make another attempt to swim the Florida Straits.
Click here to see photos of Nyad’s swim.
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