South Florida firefighter is first woman to paddleboad from Cuba to Key West

By Jennifer Jacobs - Producer, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

KEY WEST, Fla. - A South Florida firefighter made history Wednesday by becoming the first woman to paddleboard 105 miles from Cuba to Key West.

Victoria Burgess left Havana Tuesday and arrived in Key West Wednesday morning.

The passage is known for its unpredictable weather and shark-infested waters, but that clearly didn't stop Burgess. 

"I wanted to challenge myself," Burgess told Local 10 News. "I've done a couple crossings before in Hawaii, but not as long. So I wanted to do something more in our waters, and I also wanted to motivate and inspire other women to just reach their dreams, and challenge themselves and to not give up." 

Burgess has been paddleboarding for about 4 1/2 years and was a surfer before then. 

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