Dive Book Dude

your one-stop shop for rare & out-of-print original diving books

Rare & out-of-print Diving Books

.....use crtl+f to search the page for the title or author you are looking for, or just scroll down to browse

Don't forget that all items are POST FREE to the UK

International shipping charges have soared recently in the UK. The additional cost for outside the UK is a flat-rate of £9.95 for regular books & £14.95 for large books - this is subsidised by us & is much lower than the actual cost we pay

Recently sold books:

"Underwater Work" by John E. Cayford - sorry this title has now been sold


A Manual of Scuba Commercial, Salvage and Construction Operations

HB, DJ, Excellent Condition, Cornell Maritime Press 1966

A must have for anyone involved/interested in Diving, Commercial Diving, Salvage, Wrecks & Marine Construction

Rarely available for purchase, this is a practical operating manual for those Scuba and shallow water divers who have had experience in underwater work, or who plan to enter the business of underwater work on a full-time basis or as a sideline.

Some of the many projects, jobs and services covered in this manual are:

Recovering Small Boats, Motors and other sunken objects

Construction jobs such as Underwater Pipelaying & repair

Underwater Welding & Cutting

Resurfacing large sunken objects

Pouring concrete

"Deep Sea Treasure" by Mark Williams - sorry this title has now been sold


HB, DJ, 1st edition, Published by William Heinemann, London.

An excellent title by an excellent author who has conducted a huge amount of research into his subject!

Profusely illustrated, this covers wrecks around the coastal waters of Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, America & the Caribbean.

It is an exciting story!! The treasure hunter must trace his wreck carefully, searching old documents for clues about cargoes, crews, destinations......then piece together the jig-saw to reveal history.

Although the upsurge of activity by divers working with modern equipment has provided manoeuvrability in deep water, treasure hunting is still a hazardous operation....working among shifting sands, and boulders in dangerous channels, but the lure is is enormous, and the promise of riches is irresistible!


The Prize Beneath the Waves
The Great Treasure Fleets
Four Hundred Years of Diving
Kip Wagner and the Plata Flota
The wreck of the Association
Robert Stenuit and the Witte Leeuw
In the Scillies with Rex Cowan
Sir William Hamilton's Priceless Pottery
Costs and Rewards
The Tale of Simon Burton's Cannon
Treasure for all

This book will appeal equally to professional and amateur divers alike - an excellent record of treasure close to home....

This is a rare book, and is in very good condition

“The Silent World” by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, with Frederic Dumas - sorry this title is now SOLD


HB , DJ, 1953, VGC, Published by Harper Brothers, New York.

THE original classic dive book that all others are compared to!

Undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau died in Paris on June 25, 1997 at age 87. The world lost a true and courageous ambassador of the oceans..........

Being perhaps the most well-known person in the oceanographic field - his invention of the Aqua Lung made it possible for humans to explore beneath the ocean's surface both recreationally and professionally.

Half a century ago, this legendary marine explorer and his companions coined the term the 'Silent World', to describe their vision of the captivating undersea universe.

This Book, ‘The Silent World’, made accessible for the first time, rare images and imaginative descriptions of the fascinating, alien world beneath the sea.

This gripping tale of the early period of underwater exploration begins in late WWII and is set of the most part in the south of France and Mediterranean Sea. In it you will find Jacques' characteristic outlook in the germination stages. Especially interesting to observe is the beginnings of environmental concerns in his miscellaneous comments about mans impact on the health of the Mediterranean Sea. There are accounts of the effects of Coral dredging and drag netting clearing documenting the destructiveness of these techniques coupled with descriptions of his own crew on his aboard the French Naval vessel he commanded harpooning of sea mammals for questionable ‘scientific’ experiments.

The book opens with Cousteau’s account of his first dive with the new fangled aqualung. This was June 1943!

“I experimented with all possible manoeuvres. I could attain almost 2 knots speed. I soared vertically and passed my own bubbles. I went down to 60 feet. I swam inch by inch into a narrow tunnel, scraping my chest on the floor and air tanks on the ceiling”

Chapter 2 recounts the first deep dive. This time it is Dumas “I am going to sleep, but I can’t fall asleep in such dizziness” at 210 ft on the wreck of the Dalton. By chapter 8 they are into deeper diving -297ft “for half an hour I had a slight pain in the knees and shoulders” relates Cousteau……“I am the deepest independent diver”. Then death comes as Maurice Fargues reaches 396ft!

Chapter 4 tells of the experiments with explosives “when a burst caused too much discomfort we stopped” – “It would seem that the only way to find out what effect explosives would have on the body was to use dynamite and find out the hard way”. A naked diver has a better chance than a clothed one, was one conclusion. Worth knowing!

“Treasure below” is a chapter looking at the pro’s and cons of salvage, when cocoa beans and flour prove better treasure than gold.

In ‘Monsters We Have Met’ Cousteau describes encounters with sharks and other ‘monsters’

The book is totally fascinating, and when completed you wonder how any of them survived! Especially after the exploits at the fountain of Vaucluse - read this chapter before taking up cave diving!

Many fantastic early archive underwater shots are contained in the book – a must have book for every diver, and anyone involved/interested in Diving/Marine Archaeology/Biology.

"On The Bottom" by Commander Edward Ellsberg - sorry this title has now been sold


Hardback, DJ (original), Exceedingly Rare UK Edition, VGC

Published by Constable, London, 1929

An epic of deep sea diving – very, very rare

A very rarely available book, this is an outstanding record of Hard Hat Helmet diving/salvage, before modern diving apparatus was developed and available.

This recounts the operation of Commander Ellsberg & his crew, in their salvage of the US Navy Submarine S-51, which was rammed by the steamship SS City Of Rome on 25th September 1925 and sank killing 33 men.

What seemed an impossible task, the salvage operation by Ellsberg and his Navy diving team took nine months of enduring and dangerous hard hat diving, all the time battling against rough seas & icy waters.....not to mention cases of the bends! Every diver in standard gear worked for an hour before decompression started - unthinkable in this day & age.....!

The photos are equally impressive, and it is astonishing to see what was achieved in this area over 80 years ago.

This is a very rare book that is hardly ever seen available for sale - it is over 80 years old, and is in very good condition.

"Navy Diver" The Incredible Undersea Adventures of a Master Diver by Joseph Sidney Karneke & Victor Boesen - sorry this title has now been sold


1962, HB, DJ, very good condition, personal libris, Putnam, New York.

Karneke was one of the US Navy's greatest divers during World War 2, with salvage operations in the Pacific and Australia. A great read and a valuable contribution to naval diving history and the Pacific war.

Few master divers survive to tell their stories. Here is one who did. "A true bang-up suspenseful adventure from beginning to end."
—Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times.

"Sea Devils" by J. Valerio Borghese - sorry this title has now been sold


Italian Navy Commandos in World War II

1954, HB, good condition, Henry Regency Company, Chicago.

Though little known to the English-speaking world, the elite World War II Italian naval unit Decima Flottiglia MAS is considered by many to be the first modern naval commando squad. Assembled by Prince Junio Valerio Borghese at the beginning of the war, these "frogmen" were trained to fight undercover and underwater with small submarines and assault boats armed with a variety of torpedoes - pioneering tactics that remain a standard for Special Forces around the world today.

The commandos' story is told by the man who trained and led them in their desperate exploits. Borghese blends his own account with details offered by his men to present valuable insights into one of the Italian's fiercest and most formidable fighting units. First published in Italy in 1954 and translated into English in the same year.

"Underwater Warriors" by Paul Kemp - sorry this title has now been sold


Softcover, new condition, Cassell & Co, London.

Underwater Warriors is a thorough, illustrated study of the world of elite naval units – frogmen, commandos, midget submarines, demolition squads. It is the most comprehensive account in the English language and traces the development of these underwater units from the first in the 1890s to Italian/Austrian operations in World War I and the rise of the Italian MAS service between the wars. T

It includes the Japanese naval raids (including Pearl Harbor and Sydney), the Royal Navy X-Craft used in the “Tirpitz” attack, Mediterranean spying operations, German use of designs which failed to impede the Allies, Japanese suicide weapons and various unusual designs and operations, a planned Italian raid on New York, and the post-war rise of midget submarines and subsequent Soviet interest.

For students of naval history and military intelligence work, this is a major contribution to the records of underwater warfare.