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The Voice of his (De)generation
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just finished Bernie Chowdhury's book.  Thought it was a good read but sad too - I am amazed at how many accidents there has been, especially in the Doria - was a bit shocked at the number - I certainly dont remember that many accidents in UK diving during that time or that one single wreck could take so many lives.  I know that there has always been a bit of -we're better than everyone else cause we have to dive in soup most of our lives- in Brit divers and that the yanks dont know there deco and stuff, but I think that at some level I understand why there are those who say that.  Although this mostly took place at a time when guys were diving the Doria on air - that is nuts and if you did it today you were certainly be seen as nuts.  Guys in the book said that they felt comfortable on air at 230 feet and penetrations into the wreck were carried out often wihout guidelines - not on you nelly!.  Bollocks to that.  I admire their balls but to me alot of it seemed foolhardy - was that the way the early deep wreckers got on? - I was just new to diving then and dont recall this period well.  The Rouse dive team that the book is based around dived to U-Who (U-869) in very poor conditions and on air and then penetrated the wreck - a U-boat which is notoriously difficult and tight.  They were highly skilled divers but to be honest I it sounds that they bit of more than they could chew that fateful day.  i know with hindsight is fine and all but alot of those deaths were seemingly needless.  Was alot of this due to the experimental nature of that time or was alot of it due to very bad diving skills? - like staging your deco gas on the shot and then not getting back and getting bad bends?  Suppose as with alot of accidents its de to a combination of events and what was noticable was taht people tended to dive in poor conditions cause they had paid to get out there and sod the weather - wrecks aint going anywhere fast.  I eally enjoyed the book but did find it sad.  thank God that we now have agencies and we do tend to be better divers and that hopefully we will not ever suffer so many deaths in such a short period of time again.
Dinger
 

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mmm, funny coincidence, I called waterstones this morning and asked them to set aside a copy of the last dive for me, also to order "deep descent". So would you say I shouldn't bother with the last dive? Did you learn anything from reading it other than how not do do things?
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (frogkick @ Dec. 05 2003,14:58)]Did you learn anything from reading it other than how not do do things?
<font color='#000080'>Hi

IMHO No. But never the less it is worth reading. That way hopefully we can learn from their mistakes, which I think is the purpose of the book TBH. It is designed to shock.

Andy
 

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The Voice of his (De)generation
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no i would go ahead and get it - it is a good read and talks quite a bit about why divers are prepared to push themselves farther and farther.  I always think that it is useful to read about dive related incidents - hope that doesn't sound macarbe but I do think that we can learn from them.  I did learn things from the book and am sure that almost every diver would - a very interesting section is the time when the author bends himself badly and talks freely about what it felt like and the fuck ups he made (his own words) and how he had to learn to walk again and what that all felt like and the devestation he felt when the docs said he would probably never dive again and why he went against their advice.  What is this other book you talk about - is that the one about the dives on the Doria and all of the associated deaths? might try amazon for that
Dinger
 

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"hardly ever here"
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i noticed how the book was mainly about people's obsession with bringing up stuff from wrecks - 'artifact fever', as it's described in the book. i'd say the main message i picked up from the book is 'there's nothing down there worth dying for'

another thing i noticed that most of the serious incidents in the book - such as the author's and the rouses' - was because they simply failed to find their way back to deco cylinders. especially in the author's case, it just seemed to be like - 'whoops, i've wondered off a bit, better get back to the shotline, oh dear lost it, i'll surface anyway'. of course it's easy to get confused as to your location underwater, so it seems strange not to carry the cylinders with you - especially on a dive like the author's, where he wasn't even going inside the wreck, so it's not like he needed to be streamlined.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Kate R @ Dec. 05 2003,15:32)]another thing i noticed that most of the serious incidents in the book - such as the author's and the rouses' - was because they simply failed to find their way back to deco cylinders. especially in the author's case, it just seemed to be like - 'whoops, i've wondered off a bit, better get back to the shotline, oh dear lost it, i'll surface anyway'. of course it's easy to get confused as to your location underwater, so it seems strange not to carry the cylinders with you - especially on a dive like the author's, where he wasn't even going inside the wreck, so it's not like he needed to be streamlined.
<font color='#000080'>Hi

That falls back to their cave training. It is normal to drop your cylinders and go back for them whilst in a cave, as they will be there on the way out. They brought the same ideas for wrecks, which was not so cool, as they found out


Andy
 

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"hardly ever here"
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (wetlettuce @ Dec. 05 2003,15:40)]Hi

That falls back to their cave training. It is normal to drop your cylinders and go back for them whilst in a cave, as they will be there on the way out. They brought the same ideas for wrecks, which was not so cool, as they found out


Andy
hmmm, i can see how they were applying their cave training to wrecks.... but surely the whole point of dropping your stage cylinders in caves is because you're sure to get back to them if you follow the line. on the dive where the author got bent, he and his tanks were both out in open water, and he wasn't attached to the shotline in any way.

i think that either a) not thinking of the possibility that in open water you might lose your cylinders or b) thinking that you know a certain wreck so well that you won't get lost, is foolhardy.

obviously in the case of the rouses they were attached to their cylinders (more or less) by a guideline, but because of circumstances never made it back to them. i think in their case it was just a case of being too keen and two confident, and being hit by bad luck (or a set of shelves)
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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I think the last dive is a good book and well worth reeding. It is shocking to find out about dives in the 90s that were carried out by the best divers of thet era would today be deemed mad and bad. The Rouses had the choice of Trimix available to them but it was still expensive devil gas so they opted not to. Deep air in the 90s was a regular thing and if nothing else this book makes you realise just how serious narcosis can be. It put me off deep air and thats a good thing.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Duvet Diver
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Can anyone post the ISBN for this book please, then I can order myself a copy with minimum hassle.
Simon A
 

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I think I prefer Deep Descent to The Last Dive. Deep Descent is almost entirely about the various accidents that occured on the Andrea Doria. It also refers to the obsession with artifacts 'china fever' in this case.

I think the useful aspects of both books is that people can see some of the techniques that used to be considered valid but have since been proved to be ill advised. For example
- Deep air
- Letting yous stage out of your sight when diving in open water rather than a cave
- Having lots of dangly bits that can get caught on the wreck
- Diving solo, on air at 230 ft, with dangly bits to get caught up

As such both are good as examples of lessons learned.

Mark Powell
Dive-Tech: Technical Diver Training
 

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The Voice of his (De)generation
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IMHO the biggest mistake the Rouses made was that they went ahead and dived to that depth - about 70 mtrs on air - that is mad especially when they had been taught to use trimix - it came down to cost apparently.  That and the fact that the conditions were awful - 6-8 ft waves.  Penetration is very risky and perhaps even more so in a U-boat that is cramped and with cables hanging etc but to do a penetration on air is not good at all.  They did seem to be highly skilled divers that made some poor decisions and overestimateed their aility to cope with being that narked - we must note however that even though Chrissy Jnr got trapped his father was able to go in and get him out which did take alot of skill and balls and that had they found their stage bottles they would have probably been ok.  I dont know how they missed them - I suppose the confusion and the narcosis and panic led to that and that the one stage that they did find malfunctioned - the valve seemed faulty.  As with most incidents there was a combination of errors.
Dinger
 

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The Voice of his (De)generation
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Simon,
       I got the book of amazon look there mate you can get that book Deep Descent and The Last Dive together for about £20 or so - I just ordered Deep Descent and Fatal Depth for £22 or something. Interested in both after reading The Last Dive - i use amazon alot and their service is very good - no problems at all with them.
Anyway the ISBN for Bernie Chowdhury's book The Last Dive is 0-06-093259-7
Dinger
 

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Concreting the world!
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I've also just finished reading this book and to be honest I was amazed they lasted as long as they did, admittedly they did a lot of dives in only a few years, but how much of it was spent in the local quarry?  The descriptions of the dives done on the Andrea Doria where also an accident waiting to happen.  I know this was all done over 10 years ago but doing deep air dives and then doing deco on O2 but sticking to an air deco plan was hardly cutting edge stuff.  Why spend 2-3 hours hanging around on the shot line for no reason and why were they getting onto O2 at 60 feet or did I miss read that bit?

I don't think either of the Rouse's wanted to do the U-Who dive on the day but neither of them wanted to back down to the other and this ego trip ended up killing them both.

It was a good read and I'll probably read it again in the future although I did get a bit sick of the author going on about how things would have been different if in water communications had been used, I don't know of any sport/technical divers who use that sort of stuff even now.

Like the man said there is nothing down there worth dying for.

Cheers

Simon
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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I thought this was a great read - informative and lots of lessons learnt.

Pity the mind set of the Rouses was so macho - they may have been alive today if the mindset was right - regardless of the suicidal deep air dives.

This is a good book on which to learn what NOT to do. Having said that, some of the stuff was cutting edge and like a lot of advancements in life - someones gotta die pushing the limits - shame really but sobering as well.
 

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Hi,

Just ordered the book for the wife for Christmas....after the debate above I'm looking forward to it.

Someone mentioned/suggested that attachment to the line in cave/wreck diving was not done....it should not be done...

For me, the only time I dive attached to a line is when i do some ice diving....caves/caverns/wrecks I've always followed, but never been attached to a line....

I met some French divers over the summer on some cave dives in Italy and they insisted on being attached to the line. I waited until they were out.....

Regards.

Graham
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>how much did you all pay for 'The Last Dive'?? i found it in a £1 bookshop new, in may i think.

diving that day was stupid, the waves were terrible, the plan was worse. it was ego that killed the pair.

some of the other stuff mentioned in the book like the guy who claimed PO2 of 1.6 was for wimps, who consequently died, the guys who had 2 goody bags of plates (greedy barstewards) and the knife through the drysuit were stupid!

in conclusion, the book was a good read about some stupid 'stunts'

chris
 
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