NEW YORK (AP) _ An environmental investigator who wanted to call attention to cleanup efforts in New York's waterways today became the first person to complete a 153-mile swim from Albany to the Statue of Liberty.

Skip Storch, 31, of Monsey, was pulled out of the water at the statue at 7:30 a.m., about three hours sooner than expected, said his sister, Nancy Zrake. The swim took 54 hours and 50 minutes.

He began the final 10-mile leg of the swim at 4 a.m. after spending the night in Edgewater, N.J., near the George Washington Bridge, she said.

Storch, who tests water for the tri-state Interstate Sanitation Commission, jumped into the Hudson River in Albany at 5:28 a.m. Thursday.

''This effort is to let people know that New York state has done a great job of protecting its rivers for the future,'' he said. ''I want this to be an eyebrow-raising event.''

Ms. Zrake said Storch was treated Monday for two ear infections and was taking other antibiotics to protect him from the pollution in the river.

''It (the Hudson River) tasted just great,'' he proclaimed today after completing the swim.

In 1937, Charles Zimmy came close to completing the Albany-Liberty swim. He made it down the Hudson River to uptown Manhattan before he became exhausted. The statue is off the southern tip of Manhattan in New York Harbor.