Swimmer, 16, attempting to break world record

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KABC) -- A New Jersey teen attempting to become the youngest swimmer to complete three endurance ocean swims arrived in Rancho Palos Verdes Monday evening after swimming for nearly 20 hours.

Charlotte Samuels, 16, finished swimming across the Catalina Island Channel shortly before 8 p.m. She began the 20.2-mile swim around midnight under the nearly pitch-black sky.

"I haven't slept for two days, so I'm just tired mentally and physically," Samuels said.

This is the second of the three swims she's completed. In June, Samuels made the 28.5-mile swim across the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in nine hours and 54 minutes.

During Monday's journey, Samuels encountered a few obstacles, including several jellyfish stings and strong currents.

Samuels' father said his daughter purposely wore a bright colored swimsuit to avoid encounters with sharks.

She now has one more swim across the English Channel, planned for this September or next summer, to complete the challenge. If she successfully completes all three open-water events, Samuels will go down in history.

The youngest person to have completed the triple crown of open-water swimming is 20 years old.

"She's excited and she's a little bit nervous," Samuels' mother Suzanne said. "For her, this is really what she's been wanting to do and has been talking about doing for more than a year now so I'm so grateful that she's going to have the chance to do this."

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