KEY WEST, Fla. — Looking dazed and sunburned, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked on to the Key West shore Monday, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage.
Nyad arrived at the beach just before 2 p.m. EDT, about 53 hours after she began her swim in Havana on Saturday.
As she approached, spectators surrounded her in the water, taking pictures and cheering her on. Once on the beach, she was put on a stretcher and received medical treatment, including an IV. Her lips were swollen.
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.
"I am about to swim my last 2 miles in the ocean," Nyad told her 35-member team from the water, according to her website. "This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very very glad to be with you."
Nyad told supporters a silicone mask she wore to protect her face from jellyfish stings caused bruises inside her mouth, making it difficult for her to talk.
Doctors traveling with Nyad were worried about her slurred speech and her breathing, but they didn't intervene, according to Nyad's website.
Nyad's journey began Saturday morning when she jumped from the seawall of the Hemingway Marina into the warm waters off Havana. She stopped from time to time for nourishment.