Steve Lewis worked as an advertising copywriter, journalist and feature writer for many years, but is best known for his work underwater. He is a cave diver/instructor, deep wreck diver/instructor, and marketing and training consultant for the dive industry. He lives in rural Ontario but admits “I get to travel to some pretty exotic places to lecture, teach, dive and explore.”
This book is his third, and he has also written dozens of articles for diving blogs, print and online magazines and national newspapers, as well as several textbooks and travel guides. He is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, was elected to the Explorer’s Club, and has won several awards for his work including the Sheck Exley International Safety Award.
The book is essentially about what Lewis calls a ‘long-arsed, multi-expedition saga’ to explore a deserted (and flooded) iron-ore mine on the east coast of Canada. The original goal was to document the important industrial archaeology of the mine, and then to open it up for adventure-diving tourism. On the first full-scale expedition there in 2007, one of the team died. As expedition leader, this was a traumatic experience for Lewis and indeed for the whole team. It kept the mine off-limits to further diving for more than a decade. The death of Joe Steffen was made worse by the suspicions surrounding how he died; and why he was diving in the Bell Island Mine at all. Joe’s death haunted Lewis and his friends for years.
The story then is about what makes divers push the limits and risk death — as Joe did — the other events leading up to the eventual opening of the mine for controlled diving in 2017, and finally, Lewis leaving the guilt and trauma associated with his friend’s death in a eucalyptus forest in Northern Spain on the road to Santiago de Compostela.
TITLE: Death in Number Two Shaft
SUB TITLE: The exploration of Bell Island Mine
CATCH LINE: A True-Life Underwater Adventure
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Adventure
AUTHOR: Steve Lewis.
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2018
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