After four unsuccessful attempts, 64-year-old Diana Nyad has completed the 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, according to the BBC.
This makes Nyad the first person to ever complete the trip without a shark cage.
It took 53 hours of non-stop swimming and a team of 35 people on boats beside her but Nyad made it to Key West just before 2 p.m. Monday.
Nyad first attempted the swim in 1978 in a shark cage. In 2011 she attempted the trip twice with no shark cage, but had to stop because of shoulder pain the first time, and jellyfish stings the second. Her last unsuccessful attempt ended in August 2012.
On Monday, with just two miles to go, according to her blog, Nyad stopped briefly in the water to thank her crew. She said:
“I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean. This is a lifelong dream of mine and I’m very very glad to be with you. Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I’ve just met. But I’ll tell you something, you’re a special group. You pulled through; you are pros and have a great heart. So let’s get going so we can have a whopping party. Thank you, all of you, thank you for your generosity.”
Congratulations, Diana, that’s one heck of a feat!
Here’s video of her finishing her swim: