The Wreck Diving Manual by Lizzie Bird
The Wreck Diving Manual by Lizzie Bird

Most divers would agree that there are enough wreck registers and guides around to satisfy us for years to come. So is there room for another book on wrecks A quick flip through Lizzie Birds The Wreck Diving Manual soon provides the answer. There is.
This book breaks new ground, because not only is it written by an active and experienced diver who knows her subject thoroughly (Lizzie is a BSAC National Instructor) but it concentrates on the art of wreck-diving.
There is something here for beginner and experienced wreck diver alike, and few will read it without benefiting in some way.
The main subject matter is well laid out and indexed, and topped and tailed by comprehensive chapters on the law, wreck location, dive planning, special equipment and wreck research.
If that sounds dry and dusty, dont be put off - it isnt. Each subject is well-presented and very readably written. The chapter on shot lines is particularly good, and in the one on wreck research, Lizzie even manages to dream up five scenarios, a form of entertainment much enjoyed by National Instructors.
What comes across strongly is that this manual is written from first-hand experience, its tips and techniques tried and tested by the author.
It is not top marks all the way, however, because many of the books illustrations fall short of the high standard generally achieved by the text. A fair proportion of the photographs are obviously dated, and a couple are badly out of focus and crudely retouched.
Most regrettable, perhaps, is the fact that the author has chosen to do all the line drawings herself. They convey the information required, but Lizzie Bird is no Rico Oldfield.
Illustrations apart, The Wreck Diving Manual fills an important gap in todays market, and is sure to interest most wreck divers.
Frank Allen

The Wreck Diving Manual by Lizzie Bird, Crowood Press 01672 520320. Softback£12.99.