Firsthand Subsea Account Explores Murky Operations and Recoveries

Ready to Dive, a gritty, blunt, and real firsthand subsea account unlike any other, will be published May 15, 2024.

In Ready to Dive, Curt Newport describes his role in some of the most daring and consequential deep ocean search and recovery operations of our time. Newport was there on the front lines and in the trenches, rigging lift lines, piloting underwater vehicles, and dealing with the carnage following both military and civilian plane crashes. Starting with his life as the son of a US Army aviator during various international postings before covering his conflicts with his father during the turbulent 1960s, the book details how he got into the subsea field. In a career lasting nearly fifty years, probing waters deeper than three miles, Newport describes unwinding passenger clothing from submersible propellers during the Air India salvage, recovering tons of volatile fuel–laden solid rocket motor parts from the Space Shuttle Challenger, thumbing through the wallet of a young girl lost during the crash of TWA Flight 800, and deciphering the navigational mystery of the USS Indianapolis

About the Author

Curt Newport retired in 2022 after forty-seven years in the underwater profession. During his work with underwater vehicles, he operated Canadian, US, British, and Norwegian vehicles on an international basis, ranging from the Arctic to the “Roaring Forties,” the Persian Gulf, the North Sea, and both sides of the equator in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Overall, he has participated in over 150 undersea operations in water depths down to 5,500 meters (over 3.4 miles). He has supported numerous undersea operations such as the salvage of Air India Flight 182, the Space Shuttle Challenger, the recovery of Liberty Bell 7, TWA Flight 800, the broadcast of live images from the RMS Titanic, and the USS Indianapolis, as well as many classified missions involving the loss of military aircraft.

Advanced Praise

“Curt Newport, the world-renowned salvage expert, was born with saltwater in his veins. His definitive and often harrowing accounts of high-profile undersea search and salvage missions will have readers on the edge of the seats.” —George Leopold, author of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom

“Newport viscerally shares a sense of being out in the deep ocean, in the most alien environment this planet can offer, when recovering remains of those swallowed into the depths. Yet we also sense the elation of finding ships thought lost forever, being able to literally rewrite the history books. Because of him, the world has a historic spacecraft on museum display instead of crumbling in the ocean depths. It’s quite a ride.” —Francis French, author of Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961–1965

“A deep dive into the murky and dangerous world of subsea operations and recoveries from the man who spent nearly fifty years in that hostile, unforgiving environment. This isn’t just a historical biography of some of the most newsworthy undersea operations—it’s a gripping firsthand account that puts the reader in the cold, dark, alien environment that will leave you gasping for air!” —David A. Yuzuk, author of The Giant Killer

“They said it was impossible. Newport’s mission to raise Liberty Bell 7 from three miles below the Atlantic Ocean was perhaps as audacious as the mission’s original brief from thirty-eight years earlier—a mission to raise Gus Grissom and his tiny spacecraft, 100 miles above Earth, to accomplish the world’s third human spaceflight. It’s all recounted here, along with Newport’s countless other search and recovery operations as one of the great pioneers of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Ready to Dive is a fascinating, no-nonsense insight into nearly fifty years of Newport’s experience at the forefront of some of the most notable deep ocean expeditions in recent memory.” —Andy Saunders, author of Apollo Remastered

“After working in the offshore business for twenty years, I can tell you that this book is the most accurate depiction of the life offshore. Curt has lived an astonishing life—race driver, rocket engineer, subsea engineer, submarine pilot, musician, and most of all one of the most respected pioneers of the underwater construction industry. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of his life and learning about the man who helped to create the underwater commercial technology that we have today.” —Justin Hall, Program Manager, Phoenix International Holdings

Read the Book

You can receive a 30% discount on Ready to Dive and any other Purdue University Press book by ordering directly from our website and using the code PURDUE30 at checkout. Our books are also available through your favorite hometown bookstore, preferred online retailer, or your local library.

Note for Media and Book Reviewers

A digital review copy of this book is available via Edelweiss for librarians, book review bloggers, and journalists. Additional questions about this book may be directed to sales and marketing manager Bryan Shaffer.

About Purdue University Press

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Learn more about Purdue University Press at www.press.purdue.edu.