TODAY   |  September 02, 2013

Diana Nyad on 110-mile swim: ‘I’m not finished’

At 64-years old, Diana Nyad is making her fifth and final attempt to swim the 110 miles from Havana to Key West. She’s contended with sharks, jellyfish and strong weather conditions in the past, but says she’s going to make it this time. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>> final attempt at a daring swim from cuba to florida . she has been in the water since saturday morning and is already making history. kerry sanders is in miami tracking diana's progress. good morning.

>> good morning, natalie. at 64 years old, she lives by the motto if you first don't succeed, try, try, try, try again. and this morning, she has made it further than she ever has before. as you take a look at the map here, she made it 90 miles from cuba . her team says the final 10 miles or so is a battle against exhaustion.

>> reporter: diana nyad tried and failed before but quitting is not in her make up. 64 years old and she is at it again.

>> i love you all, thank you for everything.

>> reporter: on saturday, she once again enthusiastically jumped in the water off the coast of cuba and with no finns to propel her, started swimming toward florida . her mental game --

>> then make it through the day. then make it through the night. that's my idea. two day, finished. now get a new goal. get through the night. and hopefully we're going to do it three days, three nights.

>> reporter: she first tried this cuba to florida swim 35 years ago when she was 28 years old. each time she has had to contend with sharks and currents and weather, but her most daunting nemesis, as she told savannah, painful jelly fish stings.

>> i don't know what to do. i don't know how to conquer them. i really don't.

>> but this time she has a new face mask offering more cover and a special cream called sting stopper which her team applied sunday night to help protect against jelly fish .

>> the jelly fish protection, better than it's ever been. it's going to help me get through those animals.

>> and with that, this time, she is confident she can make it.

>> until i'm finished -- i'm not finished but i think the end of the journey is here, now. we're going to make it this time.

>> her team reports that they can see the lights of key west . they say her biggest challenge is not the jelly fish at this point but rather she has been drinking saltwater which adds to dehydration for somebody who is already fatigued. but they're confident, guys, that she may make it to shore, somewhere around key west between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m .. what an inspiration.

>> this is the furtherest she has gotten kerry. fingers crossed. we're all fans of hers here.

>> you ask what it's like to be stung by a jelly fish . she says you feel like you have been dipped into hot burning oil and burst into flames. that's her description.

>> that mask and ointment they used will be the charm.

>> yeah.

>> the 5th time the charm.

>> almost there.