Top positive review
65 people found this helpful
Extremely well-written story, but the 'tragedy' doesn't play
on January 4, 2001
I am a technical diver with some wreck experience, although I do not possess the advanced training (Full Cave, Deep Air, etc.) of either the author or the father-and-son team who perished, the Rousses. I found Bernie Chowdhury's "The Last Dive" to be an exciting, well-told account of a very unfortunate accident, but I must respectfully say that the two divers featured in the title did not earn my sympathy.<P... for all their training and technical equipment they both took chances underwater that were guaranteed to get them into trouble. Chrissy 'tossing' the end of the penetration line to his father, then swimming into a wreck without seeing that it was securely tied off. Playing 'bumper cars' with underwater scooters. Teasing and shaming each other into completing a technically challenging dive when neither diver was fully comfortable about going into the water. And on their final dive, attempting a dangerous penetration in a deep, challenging wreck on air (not the most suitable breathing gas for the dive, for those of you who have not yet read the book), because they couldn't afford the more expensive--but much safer--trimix. What were they thinking?
I live in Alaska, and every year men and women die in this state pursuing activities that are not unduly dangerous--hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, flying, and the like. Sometimes the accidents are the result of poor planning, inadequate equipment, and a failure to grant nature the respect it demands. But sometimes people die when it seems they did everything right, the victims of plain bad luck. Chris and Chrissy Rouse fall into both categories.
In the end, I give Mr. Chowdhury high marks for a fine job of telling the story of his two friends. The many background details on diving were fascinating and accurate, and the author's re-creation of the Rousses' last dive on the U-boat had me on the edge of my seat. But if there's a lesson here, it's that technical diving does not lend itself to people with Chris and Chrissy's competitive personalities and careless attitudes.