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Darcy Oake pulls off 'most death-defying' act to date at London's New Year's Day parade

Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake rang in 2016 with a "death-defying escape" at London's New Year's Day parade.

Winnipeg-born magician escapes from box locked around his head and filling with water

Canadian illusionist attempts to unshackle himself from several locks while his head is submerged under water, as part of the London New Year's Day parade 3:11

Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake rang in 2016 with a "death-defying escape" at London's New Year's Day parade.

Oake, who was born and raised in Winnipeg, pulled off what he calls "literally the most death-defying escape that I've ever done or ever attempted" at the end of the 30th annual parade, performing for hundreds of thousands of spectators in the U.K.

Before bringing to life the parade's theme — 30 years of magic — Oake explained how he would escape and avoid drowning. 

'I have to hold my breath... or it could go horrendously wrong.'

Canadian illusionist previews his Houdini-style trick ahead of London's New Year's Day Parade 0:46

His wrists were shackled and his head was locked in a glass box filled with water...

Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake had his head submerged in water and his wrists locked during a stunt that closed London's New Year's Day parade on Jan. 1, 2016. (CBC)

...then the contraption, with Oake locked inside it, was lifted for all to see.

With his eyes closed and nose plugged, Oake worked on the locks holding his wrists, freeing his hands one after the other. (Ryan Mahle/CBC)

He then had to pick three locks, all by feel.

Some tense music was broadcast to the crowd while Oake performed his escape. (Ryan Mahle/CBC)

All in, the escape took over two-and-a-half minutes...

Oake used what looked like a thin, bent hair pin, which he transferred by feel from hand to hand, to pick the locks. (Ryan Mahle/CBC)

...during which the crowd was quiet while Oake appeared to struggle.

It took over two-and-a-half minutes for Oake to free himself. (Ryan Mahle/CBC)

Eventually, he managed to free himself and get a gasp of air. 

Oake, 28, shot to stardom in the United Kingdom in the spring of 2014 when he impressed the judges and audience on the televised talent competition Britain's Got Talent, becoming the first illusionist to make it to the finals in the show's history.

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