9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A thumping good read!, 2 Sept. 2000
Yup, this book is a pretty good read.
I was in the dive biz for a long time (my wife tells me toooo long), and I bailed out of the offshore scene some 5 years ago. I've got a fair selection of books on Commercial/Offshore Diving and also Salvage Diving and I'm pleased to add Goldfinder to my collection.
I bought the original book on the Edinburgh salvage: "Stalin's Gold" which was an OK read, but after reading it, Mr Jessop didn't come over looking too good ..... and that is an understatement. The writer of that book (a Times' hack called Barry Penrose) clearly had a problem with Mr Jessop, and also some of the divers, and the Ship itself, and the rest of the ship's crew. Not forgetting the sinister Russians etc, etc... and it showed in what he wrote.
Anyone in the dive business at the time of the salvage couldn't help but pick up bits and pieces about this king of salvage ops. It was a really big deal. I knew just three of the dozen or so divers who were involved in the operation, and over 2-3 years following the salvage I got to hear what they had to say about it all. And it was quite a different setup to that written up in "Stalin's Gold".
Reading Keith Jessop's "Goldfinder" was a real pleasure, and sets the record straight on a number of points. Also Keith's earlier career makes for interesting, and occasionally very funny reading. His story-telling ability is a good as it comes when telling "sea-stories" about "the good-old-days" of the diving industry: when the North Sea diving business was very young and new, and every dive job was a bit "hit-and-miss", with work progressing in the usual "making it up as you go along" mode. For me, his stories about this particular time in the dive industry bring back some wonderful memories. Scary memories, but good memories...
And never forget what the guys on the Edinburgh salvage did: 850ft down in the Barents sea, diving from a very small, and by today's standards, very primitive Dive vessel, using oxy-arc cutting torches to burn their way into the Gold room that was full of unexploded ordnance ....
Hmmm, good stuff methinks. Just a touch hairy... just a touch.
The Edinburgh salvage was then, and remains now, the Ultimate deep-diving salvage attempt ever. And they succeeded. Heroes all...
Anyone interested in commercial diving, saturation diving, or salvage diving really should buy and read this book. It's a thumping good read written by a fellow who's done just about all you can do in the commercial diving arena.
It doesn't appear to be ghost-written either. So well done Keith.