updated 05/09/2006 AT 9:35 AM ET
•originally published 05/09/2006 AT 7:45 AM ET
David Blaine missed his watermark Monday night on national television, emerging weak and wrinkled from a week spent submerged within an 8-foot snow globe-like tank – without setting his intended world record for holding his breath.
Rescue divers jumped into the tank and hauled up the stunt artist as he struggled to break the record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds. Blaine held his breath for 7:08, after having spent some 177 hours under water in the week leading up to the stunt.
After being given oxygen, Blaine, 33, addressed the large crowd of spectators who had gathered around the tank on the plaza of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “I am humbled so much by the support of everyone from New York City and from all over the world,” Blaine said through tears. “This was a very difficult week, but you all made it fly by with your strong support and your energy.”
Blaine’s trainer, Kirk Krack, told ABC News on Tuesday that the illusionist was disappointed he didn’t set the record. “He felt he let people down,” Krack said.
Once rescued, Blaine – who was said to have skin rashes and liver failure among other possible maladies – was taken to a hospital to undergo tests.