IN 2003 BOB COLE PUBLISHED his definitive work on understanding the physiology and mechanics of diving, whether visiting shallow recreational depths or pursuing the deep, dark and dangerous world of commercial saturation divers. This publication was in paperback form and called The Decompression Matrix.
I owned a copy and found it an excellent companion as I trod the long and bumpy advanced technical-diving road.
Twelve years on and Cole has launched this revised edition, Out Of The Decompression Matrix. I no longer have my original copy but I think a lot of what I’d read in it I found again in this new edition.
It seems to be a mixture of the original publication spattered with updates and new material.
The contents are comprehensive, well thought-out and written, albeit replete with the author's personal opinions and findings.
It isn’t exactly illustration-heavy, but the images and drawings are clear and easy to understand.
The book is filled with extremely useful information, especially the chapters on personal decompression computers (PDCs) and multilevel PDC diving, which is an area in which the author has obvious expertise.
There are also six pages dedicated to “Women and Decompression”, the contents of which for me were a bit of an eye-opener.
If you decide to read a copy, do what I did and start from chapter two: “I Did Nothing Wrong, So It Can’t Be Decompression Illness”. That’ll get you in the right mindset to plod through the rest of the book.
This book isn’t my choice for an entertaining bedtime read and I’m sure the author never intended it to be that. This is a book written to educate and inform. Bob Cole seems to have a deep knowledge of the subject and imparts the information well.
In my humble opinion, this publication should be on most divers' bookshelves, at the very least for reference purposes.
Nigel Wade

Aquapress
ISBN: 9781905492282
Softback, 292pp, £24.99