- Title: USA: Illusionist David Blaine fails to break underwater record in New York
- Date: 9th May 2006
- Summary: BLAINE LOWERING HIMSELF IN WATER WHILE HOLDING BREATH
- Embargoed: 24th May 2006 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9O16C6NFBX8RIE4BDQ6YCQ5NW
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Following a seven day submersion in a tank of water, stuntman and illusionist David Blaine failed to break the world record for holding his breath underwater on Monday (May 8), falling nearly two minutes short of the record time.
The stunt began as divers chained Blaine in his eight-foot (2.5 metre) acrylic sphere using 68.2 kg (150 pounds) of metal chains. He then lowered his head under water hoping to break the current record for holding breath which stands at eight minutes and 58 seconds.
Blaine managed to remove the shackles from his wrists, but as he entered his sixth minute, he began to struggle. After spending seven minutes and 8 seconds underwater, Blaine blacked out and trainer Kirk Krack sent two divers into the tank to free him from shackles attached to his ankles and pull him from the tank.
When he was lifted to the edge of the sphere, an emotional Blaine addressed the crowd. Said Blaine, "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 all made it fly by with your strong spirit and your energy. Thank you so much everybody."
Krack said that although Blaine failed, he would have performed better had he not spent 177 hours in the tank prior to the challenge. Said Krack, "He said he was disappointed, that wasn't up there, it was down below. He thinks it was a failure, but I wouldn't call it a failure by any means. Take him out of the sphere for seven and a half days, give him that time to be nourished and get a good breathe up and optimal conditions and I have no doubt that he could achieve the goal he wanted to in his breath hold."
Blaine had been training in the Cayman islands since last December with Vancouver-based Performance Freediving International, who also trained golfer Tiger Woods. His stunt was aired on the ABC network in a special entitled "David Blaine: Drowned Alive."
In previous stunts, Blaine has spent 44 days in a box suspended over the River Thames, 61 hours encased in a block of ice, and 35 hours standing on a 90-foot pillar.
After being removed from the tank, Blaine was taken to a New York hospital to undergo tests. Krack said Blaine was suffering from extreme fatigue, but did not appear to have sustained any brain damage.
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