Blaine Fails to Break Underwater Record in New York
Stuntman David Blaine failed to break the world record for holding his breath underwater on Monday, falling nearly two minutes short of the record.
After Blaine spent seven minutes and 8 seconds underwater without any breathing apparatus, he blacked out and trainer Kirk Krack sent two divers into the tank to free him from shackles attached to his ankles.
According to the Web site for the ABC television network, which broadcast the stunt live, the world record for holding one's breath underwater is eight minutes, 58 seconds.
When he was lifted to the edge of an acrylic sphere where he lived underwater for a week, an emotional Blaine told the crowd: "I am humbled so much by the support of everybody from New York City and from all over the world. This was a very difficult week, but you made it fly by with your strong spirit and your energy. I thank you all and I love you all."
To prepare for the stunt, Blaine, 33, lived in the water-filled, 8-foot sphere for a week. ABC said he spent about 177 hours in the tank.
Before trying for the record, 150 pounds of chains were attached to his Blaine's body. He managed to free himself from all the chains attached to his wrists before the rescuers entered the sphere.
Murat Gunel, Blaine's doctor, said he advised the modern-day Houdini against performing the escape, which he said could cause a blackout, a heart attack, a stroke, or nerve damage in the fingers.
In previous stunts, Blaine has spent 44 days in a box suspended over the River Thames in London and 61 hours encased in a block of ice as well as one week buried in a coffin.
Krack, who is also a free-diving expert, said Blaine was disappointed he didn't set a new record. The stuntman was suffering from extreme fatigue, but did not appear to have sustained any brain damage, Krack said.
Blaine was taken to a New York hospital to undergo tests.