Book Review: Diver Down – Real World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them


Many divers pop happily from dive to dive thinking that a dive accident will never happen to them, so they never plan for contingencies.  – Excerpt from Diver Down

This excerpt from Diver Down, is a succinct summary of exactly why you should be buying this book and why I’m busy writing about this book!

For starters, the book Diver Down is written by Michael Ange. A certified Instructor Trainer in the fields of Trimix, CCR, and Technical diving, with decades of diving experience, he is also a USCG certified Master. In addition to a basic glossary, the book contains case studies of diving accidents and is 197 pages long. The premise of the book is Diving Safety and Safe Practices rather than diving itself.

Contents of the Book

Even though the book is focused on accidents, Diver Down is written in a very lucid and non-sensational tone. It includes a brief introduction to the various types of diving in tandem with a glossary. The case studies begin after the SCUBA 101 (a description of dive agencies, a glossary and tenets of diving). The author has dissected a total of twenty diving accident case studies. The case studies published are from a wide spectrum of situations and diver expertise. They include accidents involving a diving greenhorn to a highly experienced wreck diver; Accidents caused by improper practices by dive professionals has also not been ignored.

Each case study is presented in a very methodical and simple manner with a logical progression to it. At the end of every incident, the author mentions the factors which caused the accident as also the correct practices which would’ve mitigated the accident. The book also briefly educates the reader on the topic which caused each accident. As an example, an incident involving the incorrect operation of a CCR will also deal with the basic concepts and workings of the machine.

Diver Down quick glance

This additional information allows better comprehension and digestion of each case study. Diver Down is also well illustrated and squeezes in neat diagrams when discussing larger concepts. The book is very easy to understand for a layman, with its adequate illustrations. This reason also dictates that the book is kept out of sight of any of your ‘non-diver’ family/friends!

For Whom and For How Much?

Diver Down is relevant for all divers – new and old. If you have just commenced diving and plan to continue – buy it. If you’re an experienced old sea salt who is not in possession of the book(unlikely) – buy it! To be precise, the quality and topic of this book mandate every diver to have one on one’s bookshelf.

Reading the book helped me to realise what could go wrong and when. It also helped me to understand the various equipment that I took for granted (such as the regulator delivering air constantly). Reading this book will certainly make you a better diver.

The book is available for purchase anywhere between 10 – 15 $. If you can get your hands on a pre-owned copy of this book then the decision to purchase it is a no-brainer.

If what you’re looking for are…

an in-depth study of various diving equipment and gear or whether you should continue/cease diving, this book is not for you. Other than diving accidents, the book does not contain articles on other fields in the dive-o-sphere.

To Conclude, Diver Down…

…will make you a much better diver. It’s purchase is a no-brainer to me. Every diver, new and old, experienced and inexperienced, should have ‘Diver Down’ on his shelf.



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