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DCA Archive

Bring a Baby: Last Breath

Alex Parkinson, Richard da Costa

The heart-stopping true-life story Last Breath, which premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival, is one of those unforgettable films which will have you on the edge of your seat, clutching your friend’s hand, and leaving the cinema glad to be on safe ground. Bringing their years of experience of filming in challenging environments, filmmakers Alex Parkinson and Richard da Costa immerse the viewer in the mysterious and claustrophobic world of saturation diving.

"...will leave you literally gasping."

At the Huntington oil field, 115 miles east of Peterhead, a routine maintenance dive on a North Sea oil well turned into a fight for survival when a computer error aboard the commercial ship The Topaz sent the boat drifting away from its dive site, dragging along everything attached to it: including commercial diver Chris Lemons. With his diving umbilical cord snagged on an underwater structure and the full weight of the 8,000 tonne ship strained against his lifeline, Chris became stranded on the seabed with only five minutes of breathing gas and rescue 30 minutes away. Told through first-hand accounts, archive and black box footage from the actual incident and pulse-quickening underwater reconstructions, this documentary thriller is all the more powerful if you don’t know the outcome. Resist all temptation to read too much about it beforehand.

Last Breath is a fascinating real-life race-against-time thriller that will leave you literally gasping. This is an extraordinary film which gives an insight not only into the difficult conditions these crews work under, but also the type of personality it takes to do this kind of work. The men must cope with a strange mixture of isolation and routine boredom but also high pressure, extreme danger, and as Lemons and his colleagues experienced, life-threatening situations. Absolutely gripping.