Gary Gentile

Picture
Gary Gentile
Gary Gentile is frequently recognised as one of the premier wreck divers in the world.  In Robert Kurson's book, Shadow Divers (a book which Gentile himself dislikes intensely), he is described as "legendary wreck diver, Gary Gentile".  In Kevin McMurray's book, Deep Descent, the author suggests "Gentile was by far and away the most experienced deep-wreck diver in the group, if not in the world."  His resume includes over 190 dives on the SS Andrea Doria, the "Mount Everest" of scuba diving (including the dive where he recovered the ship's bell), as well as pioneering deep wreck expeditions to the RMS Lusitania and the SMS Ostfriesland.

However, as great as Gary Gentile's accomplishments as a deep wreck diver are, what marks him out from other extremely able wreck divers is his work as an author.  His publication of The Advanced Wreck Diving Guide in 1988 was the first publication containing any kind of advice on serious wreck penetration and diving beyond no-decompression limits.  In later editions of the book, Gentile recalled that mainstream publishers wanted nothing to do with his book, and he was forced to work with a smaller less well known publisher, who had little understanding of the controversy the book might cause.

A number of other successful books followed, but it was the publication of the first book specifically on technical diving, The Technical Diving Handbook, that cemented his legacy as one of the pioneers in the development of technical diving.

An independent man, Gary Gentile has always eschewed major diver training agencies, insisting that the advice and techniques contained in his books have been forged and refined by hard experience rather than an artificial mandate agreed in some board room.  Clearly the value that they have brought by shining the light of experience for an eager audience is not to be underestimated.