Contracting ‘the bends’ is a real hazard for all deep-sea divers. Saturation diving allows specialised commercial operators to work at great depths in a pressurised environment. It’s a risky vocation which can be incredibly dangerous. It’s also an area which is highly regulated and extremely health & safety conscious. However, regardless of how many precautions you take, sometimes things can do wrong. This is the remarkable true story which forms the basis of Richard da Costa and Alex Parkinson’s new documentary, Last Breath.
Chris is fairly new to saturation diving but on this rotation he is working with an experienced diver (Dave) and his mentor (Duncan). When the alarm sounds, Chris and Dave are at the bottom of the North Sea carrying out routine maintenance work. Unbeknownst to them, their positional system has failed and is drifting out of control. When they try and return to their bell, Chris’s ‘umbilical’ becomes snagged. Leaving Dave with a race against time to save his colleague’s life.
Last Breath sinks or swims by its limitations. The remarkable footage, interviews and reconstructions allow the audience to get a full and frightening insight into what it was like for both men. Whilst the quality of that footage doesn’t always make for great cinema. It’s a compelling story which will keep you on the edge of your seat. Last Breath plays out at times like a thriller. A race against time at the bottom of the sea.
Last Breath is in cinemas and On Demand on 5 April.