Diving in High-Risk Environments

By Michelle Danner

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. When most divers think of diving, the last place they would think of is diving in raw sewage (as illustrated in Case History #1): Steven M. Barsky’s informative book, Diving in High-Risk Environments, is for those who take the risks in scuba diving to make our waters clean and safe.

Diving in High-Risk Environments is a comprehensive guide written for search and rescue, technical, commercial and military divers. In the first chapters Barsky describes in detail different forms of contaminant and hazards, guiding the reader through each definition with clarity. This is the success of Barsky’s book. It takes the reader through processes piece by piece, detailing every aspect of high-risk diving: chemicals involved, scuba systems, equipment, planning, techniques, decontamination, wireless communication and equipment maintenance. The author guides the reader with charts, graphs, and pictures, as well as his expansive knowledge of a dangerous and necessary job.

The beauty of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is celebrated in The Coral Reefs of Papua New Guinea, photographed and written by Bob and Dinah Halstead and Sergio Sarta. The collection consists of more than 200 photographs of the island’s extraordinary marine life.

The underwater photography is a diver’s dream, and entices the reader with PNG’s below the surface beauty. To understand the book’s exceptional photography, it is important to know the authors. Dinah and Bob Halstead have been diving in PNG’s waters since the 70s. Jointly they have made more than 10,000 dives with more than 60,000 photographs to prove it. Both have won numerous awards for their talents. Sergio Sarta has been documenting PNG since the early 90s and has also been acknowledged for his underwater photography.

The collaboration of these fine photographers has resulted in a captivating and informative book. The authors’ goal to both share PNG’s underwater beauty and to stress the importance of preserving it and the coral reefs is accomplished with each photograph.

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