Dark Descent: Diving and the Deadly Allure of the Empress of Ireland

Overview

"Dark Descent makes the reader a vicarious participant in what is a very extreme sport."—Philadelphia Inquirer

On May 29, 1914, the passenger liner Empress of Ireland was struck by the freighter Storstad and sank in fifteen minutes, taking more than 1,000 victims with her. It remains one of the largest losses of life ever in a maritime accident.

At more than a hundred feet deep in the frigid Gulf of St. Lawrence, diving the Empress is like ...

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Overview

"Dark Descent makes the reader a vicarious participant in what is a very extreme sport."—Philadelphia Inquirer

On May 29, 1914, the passenger liner Empress of Ireland was struck by the freighter Storstad and sank in fifteen minutes, taking more than 1,000 victims with her. It remains one of the largest losses of life ever in a maritime accident.

At more than a hundred feet deep in the frigid Gulf of St. Lawrence, diving the Empress is like trying to navigate an unfamiliar sixty-story building lying on its side at a forty-five-degree angle, in pitch blackness with only a flashlight. In Dark Descent, Kevin McMurray takes us deep into the bowels of the lost ship, first to relive her tragic death and then to join the divers who have probed the wreck's secrets. It's an adventure from which some divers don't return.

"Impressively researched. . . . For those who love the lure of the deep water and the mysteries of shipwrecks, this specialized history will be a pleasure."—Publishers Weekly

"Kevin has a remarkable knack of adding life and realism. A great job."—R. W. Hamilton, Chairman of the Board, Divers Alert Network

Kevin F. McMurray is an award-winning journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Outside, Yankee, Men's Journal, and the Sunday Times of London.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071416344
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Edition description: First U.S. Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin F. McMurray is an award-winning journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Outside, Yankee, Men's Journal, and the Sunday Times of London.

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Table of Contents

Preface x
1 Fourteen Minutes 1
2 Brave Pioneers: From Initial Salvage to Jacques Cousteau 43
3 Extreme Diving 84
4 More Fatalities 120
5 Planning the 2002 Expedition 147
6 Adventure 170
7 Return to the Empress of Ireland 209
Epilogue: Empress Alumni 229
Appendices 255
Notes 263
Bibliography 268
Acknowledgments 269
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