#Diving - Writing in today's Irish Times, veteran diver Patrick O'Sullivan gives an introduction to his new book on the sinking of the Lusitania – and the deep-sea diving pioneer who helped rediscover the story of a vessel thought lost forever.
It was US Navy diver John Light who arrived in Kinsale in 1960 on a mission to lead the first sub-aqua team to reach the wreck of the ill-fated ocean liner some 45 years after her sinking by a German U-boat.
Over two years, Light and his team logged 42 dives to film the wreck site for American TV using standard compressed air, a highly risky proposition even for experienced commercial divers, many of whom bore the serious physical brunt of their adventures.
Later that decade, the race for new sources of fossil fuels led to a revolution in diving technology, prompting Light to return to the Lusitania wreck – which he had by then purchased – and finally uncover its mysteries, such as whether it was indeed a secret gunrunning vessel for the Allies in the First World War.
But as O'Sullivan writes, while this return effort turned out to be as ill-fated as the Lusitania herself, it did send Light on a new course diving into the history books instead of the deep waters off Cork.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.