Nyad 1st to swim to Florida from Cuba without cage

Nyad 1st to swim to Florida from Cuba without cage

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

US swimmer Diana Nyad jumps into the water to try swimming in a three-day non-stop journey from Havana to Florida at the Ernest Hemingway Nautical Club, in Havana on August 31, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YAMIL LAGE (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

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by JENNIFER KAY

Associated Press

Posted on September 2, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 2 at 2:04 PM

KEY WEST, Florida (AP) -- Diana Nyad has become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage.   

The 64-year-old Nyad stepped ashore in Key West on Monday just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday.   

As she approached the shore, spectators surrounded her in the water, taking pictures and cheering her on. She swam within a couple dozen feet of the beach and walked on to dry land. She looked dazed and sunburned.  

It was Nyad's fifth try to complete the approximately 110-mile swim. She tried three times in 2011 and 2012. She had also tried in 1978.   

Her last attempt was cut short amid boat trouble, storms, unfavorable currents and jellyfish stings that left her face puffy and swollen.    

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