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Deep Descent: Adventure and Death Diving the Andrea Doria Paperback – July 9, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743400631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743400633
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McMurray's is an earnest journal of deep-sea wreck diving, mostly over the Italian passenger liner Andrea Doria, which sank in a collision off Cape Cod in 1956. The Doria still draws extreme scuba divers 235 feet down to "the Everest of scuba," where, over the last 20 years, 12 divers have met their deaths. After a Night to Remember-style introduction to the ship's history, the author turns his talents as a journalist and diver (he has reached and explored the Doria hulk several times) to question why inverse mountaineers still come back to the wreck. McMurray renders a shared obsession, mostly through fuzzy sketches of expeditions to the wreck in the 1980s and '90s, and follows a dozen divers down to the Doria. Yet his descriptions are uninspiring; even the accounts of fatal dives are flat (despite a multiple-photo series of a body being hauled to the dive boat). His we-band-of-brother-divers tone can't substitute for description or character; indeed, it proves an obstacle to thoughtful storytelling. McMurray the scuba diver never quite admits to McMurray the journalist-observer that divers visit the Andrea Doria because of not in spite of the risks. 75 b&w photos. (June) Forecast: Despite the current public fascination with dangerous sport, this book won't appeal to the uninitiated. McMurray could become a sort of Sebastian Junger-esque celebrity he holds a world record for swimming around the island of Manhattan except that his book can't compare with The Perfect Storm. It is for fellow scuba samurai only.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In 1956, on her maiden voyage to New York, traveling at 21 knots in thick fog, the passenger liner Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish steamship Stockholm and sunk 160 miles off the coast of New York. McMurray, a skilled diver and adventure journalist who has written for Outside, Yankee, Men's Journal, Rock & Ice, and the New York Times, chronicles the underwater exploration of the wreck site by amateur divers in search of souvenirs. Because the Andrea Doria lies at a depth of 235', divers visiting the wreck exceed the maximum safe depth of 130' recommended for scuba diving and must use special dry suits and exotic breathing gear to avoid the "bends" when resurfacing. Two dive boats, the Wahoo and the Seeker, specialize in charter expeditions to the site, and though they are skippered by experienced and responsible crews with the latest equipment, there have been 12 deaths associated with the wreck. McMurray describes his own underwater experiences visiting the wreck and interviews crew and dive buddies so that he can vividly re-create each fatality. The result is a good history of noncommercial deep diving and a solid account of the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Exciting and powerful, this account is highly recommended for public libraries. John Kenny, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This was an interesting and entertaining book to read.
1234
After reading "Shadow Divers", I was drawn to read more about the people and about diving the Andrea Doria.
Wayne Cannon
Once you start reading it, you cant ever just put the book down.
Michael S. Bullard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dave Grimm on May 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book about diving the Andrea Doria dealing mostly with the deaths that have occured and how they happened. If you have been around this type of diving for awhile you will recognize most of the people mentioned and quoted (Billy Deans, John Chatterton, Gary Gentile and so on). The deaths and the events leading up to them are described in graphic detail including several photos of the dead divers being recovered. Kevin McMurray goes into great detail in terms of analyzing the accidents including what boat they were diving on, who they were diving with, type of gas being used, type of equipment, the dive plan and such. No attempt was made to sugar coat the tragic events, just the hard details and facts with enough background information on each diver to help you better understand the complete picture.
This book was definetly not written for or about recreational diving. No single tank air dives on pretty tropical reefs and 82 degree water. This book is about hard core wreck divers pushing the limits in deep cold water with poor vis and strong currents.
If you enjoyed 'Last Dive' then you will surely like this book. I know that I couldn't put the book down.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Lloyd on September 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Kevin McMurray gives readers a glimpse into the real-life adventures of divers who brave the cold, dark waters of the Atlantic to visit the wreck of the Andrea Doria. The author's research is sound, the information he presents on the physiology of hyperbaric medicine and technical diving techniques is accurate, and his portraits of the men and women whose lives and work are most identified with Doria diving seem fair and unbiased.
Comparisons between Deep Descent and Bernie Chowdhury's recent book The Last Dive are inevitable, since both cover the experiences of people who have lost their lives diving deep wrecks. In my opinion, McMurray's book is the more readable and his coverage of the technology associated with the sport are presented in a more organized (and less repetitive) way. Not that Chowdhury's book isn't good--simply keep in mind that reviewers who like it better than Deep Descent are expressing an opinion, not a truth.
Yes, there are several textual errors in McMurray's book that should have been noticed by the copy editor, but they are few in number and don't detract from the overall story. I thoroughly enjoy each book written by Doria pioneer Gary Gentile, despite the copy errors (in fact, I recommend Gentile's Andrea Doria: Dive to an Era for some truly gripping accounts of the author's own dives into the bowels of the great liner).
I can recommend Deep Descent without hesitation to every diver who has, or wants to, dive any shipwreck at any depth at any time. Sadly, some of the most valuable lessons for technical divers are learned by examining the fatal mistakes made by others.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sailfish55 on August 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found Deep Descent to be good reading, albeit weaker technically than it should have been. The author states he has many years of experience, but the reality is, he has one year of experience, many times. He was NOT a very advanced diver, rather a diver with novice experiences, over many years. One picture in the book has a caption that explains we are looking at the data on a dive computer. Actually, it's not a computer, but a bottom timer. Apparently a minor distinction, but not to a true technical diver. Chowdhury's book is far better technically, in addition to being great reading. I can recommend Deep Descent, but I can't rave about it. Read it, but don't expect to be glued to it like you were to The Last Dive.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jane E. Rockley on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I agree with several of the other reviewers with regard to the page-turning quality of this book. A fascinating, deadly, frightening, solemn, lesson-worthy book about scuba diving, its dangers and appeal. I am a scuba diver who is extremely conservative and would never dream of diving to the depth these people had to dive to bring up china and other artifacts from the sunken Andrea Doria. I am in awe of the bravery and expertise that it takes to do such a deep and complicated wreck dive, but I was also very well warned that, even the best divers, with hundreds of dives to their credit, ended up dead diving this wreck. The Andrea Doria has captured the imagination of many divers. It was heartbreaking and frightening to see how quickly good, practised divers lost their lives in their pursuit of "knicknacks". This book is a warning to all divers, and a can't-put-down read for everyone.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara L. Lemaster on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is most definitely required reading for divers at any level, but especially those who dive wrecks. It's been said that the Andrea Doria is the Mt. Everest for divers in terms of sheer difficulty and, based on the narratives in this book, I'm inclined to agree.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Dianne M. Strong on July 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
McMurray's book is a great historical contribution to diving history, but it lacks the EMOTIONAL IMPACT of Bernie Chowdhury's THE LAST DIVE. While factual and interesting, this book did NOT move me. I don't think this author's writing holds a candle to Bernie's book, even though McMurray is a professional writer and well-published author. I found the numerous typos, spelling errors and awkward writing very distracting. As a diver, I think about the lessons of THE LAST DIVE almost daily. McMurray's book is worth reading, but should have been better edited. I think the Doria's victims deserve better.
StrongDiver
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