Stuntman attempts to break a world record
David Blaine will attempt to break a world record by holding his breath underwater for nine minutes.india Updated: May 09, 2006 02:47 IST
Despite failing health and the risk of serious injury, stuntman David Blaine on Monday will attempt to break a world record by holding his breath underwater for nine minutes while wriggling out of 150 pounds (68 kg) of chains.
To prepare for the stunt, which will be broadcast live on the ABC television network, Blaine, 33, has lived in a water-filled, 8-foot (2.4-meter) sphere for a week.
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.
"I'm not backing down," Blaine told Reuters through a headset wired to his scuba helmet outside New York's Lincoln Center. "I'm prepared for this."
According to the network's Web site (www.abc.go.com), the current world record for holding one's breath underwater is eight minutes, 58 seconds.
Gunel said Blaine was suffering from low blood plasma, decreased liver function and tingling fingers and toes.
"He's somewhat adjusted to being in a weightless environment ... now he's going to start the more dangerous part of the stunt," Gunel told reporters.
In previous stunts, Blaine has spent 44 days in a box suspended over the Thames in London, 61 hours encased in a block of ice and one week buried in a coffin.
"It's what I love to do. ... It's the only time I'm truly happy," said Blaine, adding that the constant throng of onlookers distracted him from pain in every muscle.
Onlooker Cynthia Littlestone-Schildkraut said, "He's got to be nuts, but we find ourselves drawn to it."