Book Review: North Sea Divers - A Requiem
North Sea Divers - A Requiem
Jim Limbrick, Authors Online, 192 pages (paperback) or 106 pages (e-format), 2001.
Read our interview with the author!
There have been professional divers in the North Sea since oil exploration began in the 1960s. And since then there have been 58 deaths while diving. The author of North Sea Divers - A Requiem wanted to create a memorial to these divers, whilst at the same time providing a useful text for anyone considering a career as an offshore diver.
The first part of the book describes offshore life, the technicalities of offshore oil drilling and the history of diving. Did you know, for example, that diving bells were known in Greece in the 4th Century BC, and that the US Navy was experimenting with mixed gas diving in the 1920s? The second part is dedicated to the men who died - some of whom were friends of the author. Happily, the number of fatalities has decreased in recent years.
The book is currently published in e-format. This was the first e-book I'd read. Working all day at a computer I didn't relish reading it on screen and so printed it out. Some improvements to the layout immediately sprang to mind. With my printer the last letter of each line was lost, the text spreading right across an A4 page. Much easier to read, especially on-line, would be a narrower column and wider margins. Plus I would have liked more diagrams or illustrations - particularly for some of the more technical discussions. However, balanced against this is the need to keep the file size down. A big advantage of publishing in e-format is the price - only £2.95 (around $4.25 or Euro 4.75). (Since this paragraph was written the book has been published in paperback.)
The author has succeeded in his twin aims. If you think diving should be about warm water and enjoying the marine life, this book probably has too much detail on oil and gas extraction, safety regulations and offshore life for you. However, if you are considering a career as an offshore diver, or are interested in the history of offshore diving around the world, then at just £2.95 you won't be disappointed.
About the Author
Jim Limbrick is a retired offshore diver. After working in the North Sea in its early years, he moved to the Middle East working on some of the world's largest oil-field installation projects of the time. For more information read the interview he gave to SCUBA Travel.
Jim has kindly offered that if anyone would like to get in touch about any aspect of the book, or how to go about getting their own book quality published in the cheapest possible way, he would be pleased to help and advise. In addition, any information you may want, or any questions answered on professional diving, he will be only too pleased to help. Contact Jim Limbrick.
Having been involved in the North Sea in the early days of the 70,s with Comex and working in Nigeria, Persian Gulf and India I can only say that the early days with no Offshore Regulation pre 1975 was rough. Being Ex Navy Diver we were used to bad conditions when operational neccesity demanded it so those of us that have experienced what has been recorded in this book can only nod in agreement. Jackie Warner was the "Offshore Messiah" when decisions were to be made, unfortunately some of the permitted "bending of the rules" proved fatal.
Tony Locke, 11 September 2012
If you prefer, add your comment with this form.