The years that followed the Second World War saw a ‘red gold rush,’ with royal coral being fished indiscriminately, especially in the waters of Sardinia, where it had found it’s ideal habitat. The advent of new diving technologies accelerated this process, whether through the use of more invasive equipment or through more sophisticated research instruments, until even the last dregs of coral had been located and removed.
Today Corallium Rubrum should have long been on the list of species threatened by extinction, and should have been guarded by laws even more rigorous than those used to protect elephants that have been massacred for their ivory, and sea turtles for their shells.
The author narrates a series of fascinating adventures of his life lived under and over the seas between 1950 and 1984.
In the 1970’s Captain Fusco in collaboration with Dräger AG in Lubecca, Germany, one of the oldest manufacturers of diving equipment, tested new methods of diving and new prototype's equipment. With these new tools and instruments he could finally have adequate safety in open water dives beyond 100 meters (330 feet) during free-body dives, such as is required for coral harvesting. He describes his experiments and achievements in technical scuba diving, and in particular it’s safety systems. Above all, he transmits to the reader the excitement of his continued search for innovative solutions, with dives to a maximum depth of 150 meters (492 feet) at a time when such a feat was unthinkable.
"…The true story of extreme deep diving with air and with rebreathers as Leonardo Fusco pioneers a new frontier for a centuries old maritime tradition. As friends who also push the limits of this new frontier are killed, Leonardo pioneers the use of hyperbaric and submersible technology, with assistance from his friends Hans Hass and Gerhard Haux."
A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to www.Reef.org