The magician/stuntman/escape artist, who spent a week inside a water-filled sphere, was pulled to safety Monday night by divers nearly two minutes short of his goal of setting a world record for holding his breath underwater.
Blaine was trying to free himself from chains and handcuffs while bidding to break the record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds for holding one's breath underwater.
With Blaine's face contorted in pain and bubbles rising to the surface, divers went in to release him from the chains and pull him out. Blaine held his breath for 7:08.
After being given oxygen, Blaine addressed the large crowd that had gathered around the 8-foot snow globe-like tank on the plaza of Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
"I am humbled so much by the support of everyone from New York City and from all over the world," Blaine said. "This was a very difficult week, but you all made it fly by with your strong support and your energy. Thank you so much, everybody. ... I love you all."
Blaine's stunt was televised live on ABC.
After a 100-minute television preamble that showed his training techniques - including holding his breath in a tank of sharks - Blaine had sucked in his last breath before going under. Kirk Krack, his trainer and a diving expert, offered encouragement as Blaine remained nearly still for the first five minutes of his dive.
Then, methodically, he removed two of his handcuffs and was trying to remove chains that held him before the divers came in to save him.