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(NECN/NBC News: Chris Clackum) - At long last, the extreme dream of American endurance swimmer Diana Nyad has been reached.
The fifth time was the charm for Nyad who completed the swim of the Florida straits from Havana Cuba to Key West, Fla.
She is the first person on the planet to do the way she did it.
Nyad stepped ashore in Key West, 53 hours and 110 miles after she began.
Nyad is now the first to swim that distance without the aid of anything.
After four failed attempts, Nyad began her fifth attempt to swim across the often treacherous Florida straits jumping into the water at 9, eastern, Saturday morning at Hemingway Marina in Havana.
The 64-year-old had said that this would be her final attempt to cross the straits.
This time she used a protective silicone mask to better protect her from potentially deadly box jellyfish that forced her to end one of two attempted crossings last year.
She first tried to complete the crossing in 1978 with a shark cage.
Two other endurance swimmers claim that they successfully made the swim from Cuba to Key West.
But neither crossing is recognized by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame because both swimmers used shark cages, which are prohibited under traditional swimming rules.