Deep wreck diving is arguably the most dangerous recreational sport in the world and The Last Dive is an example of what can happen when things go wrong. The book is not just a detailed account of what befell Chris and Chrissy Rouse on their last dive, but is also a fascinating account of both cave and wreck diving. Starting from the beginning of the father and son’s interest in scuba diving, The Last Dive chronicles the pairs’ growth to the pinnacle of recreational diving.
The author, Bernie Chowdhury, is a diver himself and it really shows with his attention to detail. For some this may be a turn off, but for me it added depth to the book and showed just how dedicated these divers were to their sport. The details are well entwined with the story, making them flow fairly well, however if you have no interest in the science behind diving to incredible depths then this book may not be for you.
The Rouses’ experiences in cave diving lead well into wreck diving and creates a good backdrop for the issues of their final dive. Throughout their diving careers controversy seemed to follow them to some extent and that last dive was no exception.
The Last Dive was only the second book I have read dealing with wreck diving and I must admit I am absolutely hooked. It is almost as if the words squeeze on my chest and I am down with the divers on the edge of peril. There is so little room for mistakes at depth and the author did an excellent job of conveying this. It truly makes me want to get into wreck diving, but I think reading about it is probably enough intensity for me.
Overall this is a very detailed and adventure rich book. If you have any inkling of interest in diving or exploration then you won’t go wrong giving this a try. Another diving book, Shadow Divers may be a better starting point if you are worried about having to sift through some specific details behind scuba diving.