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Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them [Paperback]

Michael R. Ange
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2005

One diver, after a seemingly brief period below the surface, discovers that his gas supply has run perilously low. Another, paralyzed, bobs helplessly on the surface, and when a poorly trained divemaster attempts rescue, things go from bad to worse. Two other divers, fascinated by the bountiful undersea life of the Caribbean, fail to notice that a powerful current is sweeping them rapidly away from their unattended boat.

These are just a few of the true stories you’ll find in Diver Down, most of them involving diver error and resulting in serious injury or death. Each of these tales is accompanied by an in-depth analysis of what went wrong and how you can recognize, avoid, and respond to similar underwater calamities. This unique survival guide explores the gamut of diving situations, including cave and wreck diving, deep-water dives, river and drift diving, decompression sickness, and much more. It shows you how to prevent tragic mishaps through:

  • Inspection and maintenance of primary and secondary diving gear
  • Learning and following established safety protocols
  • Confirming the training and credentials of diving professionals
  • Practicing emergency responses under real-world conditions

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Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them + Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine (1 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071445722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071445726
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

True Tales of Trouble in the Deep and What You Can Learn from Them

One diver, after a seemingly brief period below the surface, discovers that his gas supply has run perilously low. Another, paralyzed, bobs helplessly on the surface, and when a poorly trained divemaster attempts rescue, things go from bad to worse. Two other divers, fascinated by the bountiful undersea life of the Caribbean, fail to notice that a powerful current is sweeping them rapidly away from their unattended boat.

These are just a few of the true stories you’ll find in Diver Down, most of them involving diver error and resulting in serious injury or death. This unique survival guide explores the gamut of diving situations, including cave and wreck diving, deep-water dives, river and drift diving, decompression sickness, and much more. It shows you how to prevent tragic mishaps through:

  • Inspection and maintenance of primary and secondary diving gear
  • Learning and following established safety protocols
  • Confirming the training and credentials of diving professionals
  • Practicing emergency responses under real-world conditions

Captain Michael R. Ange is the Managing Director of the Americas Division for the Professional Scuba Association International and contributing writer and technical editor for Scuba Diving magazine. During his diving career, Ange has trained more than 3,000 divers and several hundred instructors from around the world.

About the Author

Michael R.Ange is a senior member of theTechnical Training Staff for Scuba Diving International &Technical Diving International and contributing writer andtechnical editor for SCUBA Diving magazine. He has trained2,000 divers and hundreds of instructors and has written fivetextbooks on diving.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the sub-title! 22 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I noticed this book a while ago and thought it might be just another 'scuba diving scare book' where authors describe sensational incidents only for dramatic effect. The consequences of these scare books on my profession (I am a Red Sea diving instructor and author) is the enhancement of the belief system that scuba diving is dangerous and to be avoided. To my pleasant surprise DIVER DOWN is none of these and instead the many individual stories are used in an informative, educational and safety-promoting way.

To produce a book like this and deal with such subject matter in a positive manner the author must be a good writer and an expert in his field. Michael Ange scores highly on both counts. Unless we study our mistakes and those of others then we will always be at risk of mishap and serious scuba divers should not shy away from studies like these.

The author has simply published those studies to a wider audience and even though his efforts may be immeasurable in terms of lives saved or accidents avoided I would hazard a guess that each diving reader on completion of this book will spend a little more time on their buddy checks and perhaps from then on take an extra glance or two at their pressure gauges!

John Kean
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Diver Down" certainly provides stories that have the potential to scare the wits out of non-diving friends in their retelling. However, these accounts would not look out of place in "The Darwin Awards". After all, would you drop anchor and then go for a dive in unfamiliar waters without surface cover (i.e. with no crew left aboard) - and with a squall brewing? What is sad is that poor judgement by one person can kill or seriously injure buddies or rescuers. I guess the moral here is to look after 'number one' - in order to avert a daft accident or be in a position to offer assistance to those in difficulty.

"Diver Down" tends to describe `sensational' accidents that carry few lessons for the average diver. Most of the accidents described are in overhead situations, i.e. in wrecks or caves. Most accidents to non-technical divers are usually chalked up as down to poor buoyancy control, due to inexperience, panic, or a combination of the two. But recounting these accidents wouldn't make for a very interesting read. To be fair, Michael Ange lists the 'rules' of diving and under #5 states that "panic is the primary cause of diver death".

If you want to learn from the mishaps of others then the diving press carries accounts of diving accidents or close calls that are highly educational. One that sticks in the mind is an account of a diver who suffered symptoms of secondary drowning when he was simply making a surface swim and breathed in some sea spray ("Dive" magazine, April 2007). So, if education is what you're after, subscribe to one or more of the excellent diving magazines or online forums.

Having said that, the accounts in this book make for compelling reading. It's a real page-turner and I certainly don't regret buying this book.

Safe diving.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary - but compulsive 9 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a fairly new diver I was keen to learn more about the sport, and to make my own diving safer by learning from the mistakes of the others. As such the book is excellent. Each of the real world incidents has an introduction, a description of what happened, analysis of the situation, followed by short bullet points listing the lessons learned. This is a good format, and you should find yourself mentally making note of potential hazards and mistakes in the initial opening passage, and comparing it to situations you may have faced, and how you would deal with the situations in the book.

It may seem ghoulish to read about accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries (somebody said 'would you also read a book about car crashes?'), but like aviation, best practice in diving has evolved from lessons learned from previous accidents. Next time I go in the water, I'll try not to dwell on the accidents, but the important message about staying within your own limits.

My only gripe is the sidebars, which are interesting, tend to interupt the flow of each case study.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NikP 2 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
A great book if your a diver. As you read it becomes very apparent why the problems occurred and I felt helped me realise my own knowledge and appreciation of the risks that can be involved if you pay no attention to the signs. I have lent it to many other diver who also enjoyed the read
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 25 July 2006
By C. REID
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good descriptive account of what can go wrong on a dive and the precautions you can do to better prepare yourself. A must have for the experienced diver. Do not allow non-diving partners anywhere near it though. Would not advise for any nervous divers, get experience and build confidence first before reading this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for those who like to scuba dive. 24 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book features many examples of real life scuba disasters, some of them fatal, with recommendations of how to avoid them. The only problem is that no metric measures are given which can be important if you visualise depth in metres.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cautionary tales that are relevant to all divers 30 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to learn about mistakes others have made to try to avoid them myself. Interesting read without be sensationalist or patronising. the importance of sorting out small problems before they become big ones is the main message. A good read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very usuful
This book is great to read but long before you go for a dive. I found studding accidents of other divers very useful as it made me think of situations that i would never imagine... Read more
Published 17 months ago by I. Ntounis
5.0 out of 5 stars My hubby says its fantastic
Bought as a present for my hubby who took it on a recent diving trip to Egypt. He says it is a real eye opener and he learnt more from reading it than he has from any instruction. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cowslip
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Amazing book, tells you of the true events which happened and the problems and ways they overcame the troubles that arised
Published 19 months ago by Jamie
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for all divers
Diver Down accurately displays how small problems, arrogance and disrespect in the world of diving can quickly escalate into tragic accidents. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jules
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book.
a very interesting book about diving accident and a good way to see that things like this can easily be avoided.
Published 20 months ago by Chris Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars Diver Down - Many a true story
Well written.

I have been diving now for 7 years, I have never experienced loss of life but have witnessed behaviours and incidents that could easily have turned sour. Read more
Published 21 months ago by trello
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling but informative read
"Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them" makes for scary reading for any SCUBA diver (or perhaps more so for their families and loved ones), as it unfolds... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Thomas Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for every diver
This was a great purchase. A must-read for every diver, new and old. Such simple mistakes lead to major events. We often take our safety for granted. Read more
Published on 27 Jan 2012 by Gailmac
3.0 out of 5 stars Everyone taking up Scuba diving should read this, but...
This is a great book, especially for anyone fairly new to diving, if a little depressing as it covers a number of fatal incidents (It might put some off diving I suspect). Read more
Published on 10 Oct 2011 by M. Saxby
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying
I should probably state from the outset that I'm a qualified Divemaster and have spent a fair bit of time underwater. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by F. Martin
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