- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (October 3, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060194626
- ISBN-13: 978-0060194628
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 223 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths Hardcover – October 3, 2000
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From Library Journal
Extreme sports, such as climbing Mount Everest, are becoming increasingly popular in this country. Among these activities is extreme scuba diving deep diving, wreck diving, and cave diving, often using nonair gas mixtures. Chowdury chronicles the world of these divers, using his own story and that of a father-and-son dive team that died following a penetration-wreck dive at 230 feet using air. Excellently written and a real "grabber" to read, the book includes much information about the history, equipment, and people who make up the world of extreme or "technical" diving. This book should be read by any diver thinking of getting involved in wreck, cave, deep, or mixed-gas diving. One hopes it will change their minds, for there's absolutely no margin for error in these risky ventures. There is also much meat here for those interested in the psychology of extreme sports. Strongly recommended for libraries of all types with interests in scuba diving, sports (especially extreme sports), and the psychology of sports and risk-taking.DMargaret Rioux, MBL/WHOI Lib., Woods Hole, MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A suspenseful tale [that] amounts to one long nail-biter...will leave even surface-dwellers gasping for air. -- -- Philadelphia Enquirer about the Audio Edition of The Last Dive
"Superbly written and action-packed, "The Last Dive" ranks with such adventure classics as "The Perfect Storm" and "Into Thin Air." -- -- Tampa Tribune
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Another interesting point was it appeared that the Rouse's prided themselves on preparing for a dive. Page after page, the reader knows how well they prepare for a dive - redundancy of gear, diving plan, etc. - they went into a dive prepared for problems. However, I don't understand why the boat wasn't prepared to handle someone who gets severely bent. To call for an emergency evacuation and wait? I've done sport diving and have no desire to place myself in a situation where there are no contingency plans. There are portable decompression chambers that can be placed on boats - should have been one in this situation. All boats who serve as a dive platform for deep dives should have one. I could not operate a boat who served as a dive platform for deep dives, in good conscious, without one.
My heart breaks to think what these guys were thinking when they surfaced. They knew.
Although the outcome of the story is a very sad one, Bernie Chowdhury does an excellent job at bringing you into the lives of his friends and making you feel like you knew them. he explains things pretty clearly and even helps non-divers understand more technical aspects. his descriptiveness makes you feel like you're right there with them. this is an excellent book and it was hard to put it down. Chris and Chrissy are two of my newest heroes and this story helped spur me back into Diving action. i highly recommend this book for anyone, diver or not.
The books ends with the Rouses' death on a wreck laying in deep water off the US East coast. At this point, it turns from a description of exciting adventurous dives and the often hilarious attics of this father-son team into a stomach-clenching description of a fatal accident. It is essentially a study on how NOT to conduct any type of advanced diving: the Rouses' big egos made them take undue risks in poor conditions and they saved money on improved breathing gases, the Helium - air mixes reducing the narcotic effects of nitrogen that can cast a thick fog over a diver's mind. Rather they decided to dive using regular - at this depth highly narcotic - air. The younger Rouse then got stuck in the tight interior of the wreck (due to the strong nitrogen narcosis at that depth hallucinating that he was being swallowed by a monster) and after a rescue effort by his father, they failed to locate the tanks necessary for a slow ascent. The sprint to the surface did not allow their bodies to get rid of the dissolved gasses absorbed in the high-pressure conditions at depth, and both of them perished. Naturally, hindsight is 20/20, and I certainly feel empathy for them and how they died a horrible panicked painful death. Nevertheless, I believe that this story was clearly not an unforeseeable tragedy, but serves as a prime example of how a series of poor judgments and decisions will amplify the already large risks inherent in deep and wreck diving. May others learn from them!