The Last Dive
A Father and Son's Fatal Descent Into the Ocean's DepthsBook - 2000
Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced father-and-son scuba diving team, hoped to achieve widespread recognition for their outstanding but controversial diving skills. Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to solve the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented World War II German U-boat that lay under 230 feet of water, only a half-day's mission from New York Harbor. They paid the ultimate price in their quest for fame.
This gripping narrative recounts the Rouses' growing lust for what many consider the world's most dangerous sport -- as well as for the cowboy culture of the deepdiving community. Father and son were only eighteen years apart in age, and their constant battles of will earned them the nickname "the Bicker Brothers." Many friends wondered which would win out if it came down to a life-or-death diving situation: Chris's protective instincts or Chrissy's desire to surpass his father's successes.
In the surreal topographies of underwater caves and shipwrecks, divers can encounter the unfathomable. Some get lost until their air expires, some get hopelessly tangled in cables, some are drawn to deep chambers from which they never emerge, and some make simple human errors. The sport's best may eventually find themselves in silt-filled water, dark as night, and pinned by dislodged wreckage. If they panic and use up their air, they put themselves at risk of drowning or of what divers fear the most-decompression sickness, or "the bends."
Author Bernie Chowdhury, himself an expert diver and a dose friend of the Rouses', explores the thrill-seeking world of deep-sea diving, including its legendary figures, most celebrated triumphs, and gruesome tragedies. By examining the diver's psychology through the complex father-and-son dynamic, Chowdhury illuminates the extreme sport diver's push toward -- and sometimes beyond -- the limits of human endurance.