Diving into Darkness

A True Story of Death and Survival

Phillip Finch

St. Martin's Press

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On New Year's Day, 2005, David Shaw traveled halfway around the world on a journey that took him to a steep crater in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, a site known as Bushman's Hole. His destination was nearly 900 feet below the surface.

On January 8th he descended into the water. About fifteen feet below the surface was a fissure in the bottom of the basin, barely wide enough to admit him. He slipped through the opening and disappeared from sight, leaving behind the world of light and life.

Then, a second diver descended through the same crack in the stone. This was Don Shirley, Shaw's friend, and one of the few people in the world qualified to follow where Shaw was about to go. In the community of extreme scuba diving, Don Shirley was a master among masters.

Twenty-five minutes later, one of the men was dead. The other was in mortal peril, and would spend the next 10 hours struggling to survive, existing literally from breath to breath.

What happened that day is the stuff of nightmarish drama, but Diving into Darkness is also a compelling human story of friendship, heroism, ambition, and of coming to terms with loss and tragedy.

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Chapter One

On an afternoon in November 2004, David Shaw climbed a steep path up a mountainside that rose above Clearwater Bay in the New Territories of Hong Kong. His pace – hard, unflinching, non-stop – was typical of Shaw, a driven man who did everything with a purpose.

Shaw was fifty years old, a training captain with Cathay Pacific airline who helped to oversee the flight fitness of other Cathay pilots while flying the line’s long-haul routes. He and his wife, Ann, both Australian, had recently celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary.

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About the Author

Phillip Finch

PHILLIP FINCH is a journalist and author of more than ten books, both novels and non-fiction. He has worked for Washington Daily News, the San Francisco Examiner and other newspapers. He is an experienced cave diver and lives in Kansas.

Phillip Finch

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Available Formats and Book Details

Diving into Darkness
A True Story of Death and Survival
Phillip Finch

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
September 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312383947
ISBN10: 0312383940
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Includes one 8-page color photo insert
$26.99
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