Former RAF Squadron Leader and high-risk diver publishes first book

By Anita Jaynes on 12 March, 2019

A former RAF Squadron Leader and high-risk diver from Malmesbury has published his first book to help fellow divers act safely in a high-risk sport.

Gareth Lock, the man behind the well-respected brand The Human Diver, is launching his first book ‘UNDER PRESSURE’ today, Tuesday March 12, 2019. While aimed at divers, it is applicable to anyone in high-risk sports.

He said, “Most accidents and incidents are believed to be down to human error’. Every one of us makes mistakes every day, even the experts. But categorising as ‘human error’ does a disservice to people who create safety in what they do.

“Attributing ‘human error’ as the cause means we often focus on the outcomes rather than the failures in decision-making, situational awareness, communication, team work or the impact of stress and fatigue.

“In diving, errors which are not trapped or mitigated can ultimately mean the difference between life and death.

“Getting this right means developing an understanding of individual and team behaviours, sometimes when operating under extreme stress, and then being able to collect important and/or relevant information, make effective decisions and lead the team to the benefit of all.”

Gareth’s first book uses his experience and knowledge gained through his 25-year career with the RAF and as an experienced diver to demonstrate a new way of thinking and planning to avoid errors which can cost lives.

The book contains more than 30 detailed stories from globally-known divers such as Jill Heinerth, Richard Lundgren, Steve Bogaerts and Roger Williams. The case studies and analysis show how experts can make mistakes and how they survived to tell the tale.

“The aim of the book is to improve the safety and performance of divers and it’s an opportunity to learn how divers really make decisions, how they should communicate and how we should all lead others,” Gareth said.

Under Pressure has already been endorsed by well-known names in the world of diving and underwater sports like explorer and Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society Phil Short and diver-health expert and rebreather instructor Dr Douglas Ebersole.

Phil said, “I feel this book is an essential teaching tool for all instructors and instructor trainers in diver education, to all members of a diving or other expedition and in addition an essential addition to every diver’s library. The layout is logical and makes learning simple.”

Doug added, “As long as we only look at the diver and not the system as a whole, we are unlikely to make diving safer.  Gareth presents this systematic approach to diving safety with chapters on subjects including mindset, human error, risk management, the ‘just’ culture, situational awareness and communication in a very concise, yet thorough approach with anecdotes by leading members of the diving community.”

For more information about the book and Gareth himself visit

Pictured above: Gareth Lock