BOOK REVIEW: Submerged: Adventures of America’s Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team

In the proper world of the future when there is a Pulitzer prize category for scuba writing, Daniel Lenihan has the first one in the bag. Submerged is not a new book, being first published in 2002, but I have not found many divers that have read it yet. Every diver should, as well as anyone that likes adventure or history. Not just because it is “a gripping saga” in the words of Clive Cussler, a master of the gripping fiction dive saga sub-genre. And only partly because Lenihan’s artful prose rivals those of have won the prize Pulitzer. But, also because it is all true and will either make you a better diver or make you wonder why you have put off becoming a scuba diver. It deserves every word of the hundreds of lines of praise from readers, newspapers, dive magazines, archeology journals, history journals and others.

You can open most any page and find edge of the seat, compelling lines such as these from the very first page: “No one speaks as we intently study the emerald-green expanse of Lake Superior from the stern of our anchored vessel. No flicker of movement, no slick undulating circle disturbs the verdant glass – nothing that would indicate the presence of a diver’s bubbles boiling to the surface. They are late… very late, and unspoken fear is tangible. The raising tension has become a sixth member of the team gathered on the deck.”

I, like many divers are amazed to learn that America even has an underwater archeology team, let alone an elite team. The team with the edgy acronym of SCRU (Submerged Cultural Resources Unit) is made up of “park rangers” from the U.S. National Park Service with a passion for extreme diving and the discipline of professional archeologists. If Lenihan’s tales were well made into a TV series we could have another Sea Hunt capable of inspiring a flood of new divers signing up for classes. I am one of the boomer divers that dives because of the inspiration of Mike Nelson (Sea Hunt) and from beginning to the end of this book I was further inspired to become a better diver, a better writer and to learn more of the rich history that the author uncovers in the depths of our national waters.

LINKS: The publisher ( | Amazon (

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