Miami Beach lifeguard starts paddling the Straits

Cynthia Aguilar's ambitious mission to cross the Florida Straits on a paddle board and raise $100,000 for seriously ill children has begun.

Aguilar jumped in the water about 12 miles off the coast of Cuba at 8 a.m. Friday and began paddling the 130 miles back to Key West's southernmost point.

Aguilar hopes to raise enough money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida to grant 20 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Aguilar's crew is filming the trip and posting her progress on the website for her non-profit organization, Keeppaddlin.org, and her Facebook page.

Related stories from Miami Herald