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Book Review: Lake Erie Technical Wreck Diving Guide by Erik A Petkovic Sr

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In many ways the title doesn’t – and perhaps can’t – really do this book full justice. This is so much more than a technical wreck diving guide. Even if you don’t dive, the book is an exciting read with Erik’s in depth and meticulous research taking the reader through the fascinating history of each wreck and the crew.

I am not a technical diver but, even so, read the book with intense interest from cover to cover. This book is far greater than a list of technical information on how to dive these particular wrecks. It is a template for all wreck diving, technical or not. If you want more from your wreck diving than just bringing up old bits of brass or rusting iron then this book is an absolute must.

Wrecks are more interesting than lumps of iron and wood on the sea floor. They are encapsulated segments of marine history, of ship building and design, of historical circumstances that led to the launching and ultimate sinking. Imagine the passions of the crew and owners, the terrible moments as it becomes clear the ship is lost and the crew are in perilous danger. It’s all here and almost reads like a novel. He tells us of salvage attempts and cargoes that still lie at the bottom of the lake.

As well as the concise and fascinating history behind each wreck, Erik writes about his diving experiences and how best to go about planning and executing your own dives with descriptions of the best routes to take, depths, terrain and points of particular interest. He also describes the conditions of the wrecks and any hazards you are likely to encounter. He does this, and more, with the aid of excellent photos and illustrations.

A great read and I highly recommend it for divers and non-divers.

About the Author: Erik A. Petkovic, Sr. – Maritime Historian and Technical Wreck Diver

Erik began his diving career in 1997. In 20 years of diving, he has logged many hundreds of dives on the shipwrecks along the East Coast and Great Lakes regions of the US. An expert in shipwreck research, Erik is contracted by other authors to assist in the intricacies of disaster and shipwreck research. Erik has been published in multiple international dive magazines and publications including Wreck Diving Magazine, Tech Diving Mag, Deco Stop Revista(Brazil), and others. He is the author of the highly successful and well praised book Shipwrecks of Lake Erie Volume One.

Published by DIVED UP Publications. Lake Erie Technical Wreck Diving Guide is available now in hardback – RRP £30.00 ISBN 978-1-909455-30-6 – and just released paperback – RRP £19.95 ISBN 978-1-909455-27-6. Available from www.divedup.com online and from retailers.

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Miscellaneous Blogs

Film Review: Thirteen Lives

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Ron Howard’s recreation of the 2018 rescue of a Thai junior football team is impressive. Even though we know what happens in the end the tension and drama played out is palpable.

On 23 June 2018, 12 members of a Thai junior football team, the Wild Boars, and their coach became trapped deep in the Tham Luang cave system by rising flood water. The film details the incredible international rescue efforts that ensue. And Ron Howard has judged the tone perfectly. There is no Hollywood glitz and glamour and the two leading actors: Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, who play John Volanthen and Rick Stanton respectively, capture the intensity of the situation perfectly.

The diving scenes are claustrophobic in the extreme. Although I suspect that the visibility was even worse than the film depicts as you have to be able to see something in the dramatization! All the way through the film I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the extraordinary feat these divers pulled off. The skill and bravery required still impresses after watching films, hearing them speak in public and reading about the rescue.

I loved that, whilst the divers took centre stage in the film, the heroic rescue efforts of the water engineer and his team was also given the attention they deserve, as well as the incredible Thai Navy Seals and the thousands of people that flocked to the region to help.

Thirteen Lives is a must watch movie about an incredible cave rescue. It’s sober tone hits the mark. The cinematography is skilled and creates an impressively tense experience. It is available on Amazon Prime right now.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Underwater Photographer Elaine Whiteford

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Gemma and Ian chat to Elaine Whiteford. Elaine learned to dive in 2002 and qualified as an Instructor (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) in 2005. She is based in Scotland and dives all year round in the North Sea and the sea lochs of the Scottish west coast. A photographer before she was a diver, taking pictures underwater was a natural development for Elaine, who was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society with a portfolio of underwater images.

She has had articles published in a range of magazines, both general interest and diving, including Scottish Wildlife, Diver, The Undersea Journal, The Sea, BBC Wildlife and the Scot’s Magazine. Her work has also featured in a number of exhibitions, such as the Royal Photographic Society’s Projected Image Exhibition, the Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography and the Scottish Parliament’s Biodiversity Exhibition. She had a solo exhibition, Scotland’s Waters Brought To Life, in Stirling’s Smith Museum. Her images have appeared in a range of books and she is a contributor to Wild & Temperate Seas, 50 Favourite UK Dives, which was published in November, 2020.

Elaine was shortlisted in the 2020 Scottish Nature Photography Awards and her image appears in the Portfolio Yearbook which was published in the autumn of 2021.

Have a listen here:

Find out more here:


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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