- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (February 19, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060932597
- ISBN-13: 978-0060932596
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 227 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,389 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 Paperback – February 19, 2002
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About the Author
Bernie Chowdhury is the founder and co-publisher of The Inteinational Technical Diving Magazine. A world-class diver, Explorers Club Fellow, and a recognized expert on extreme sport diving, he also makes documentary films and is a frequent lecturer.
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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!