Ecott, Tim

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Born in Ireland; married: wife's name, Jessica; children: two. Education: University of Belfast (social anthropology). Hobbies and other interests: Certified divemaster.


Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Penguin, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England.


Freelance travel writer and journalist. BBC World Service, producer and correspondent.


Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributor to various publications, including Esquire, Economist, and National Geographic.


A love-story novel and another nonfiction project.


Tim Ecott grew up in Ireland, the Far East, and Africa due to his father's military career. As a result Ecott loves to travel and, after getting a degree in social anthropology, began his career as a travel writer, first for the BBC World Service and then as a freelancer writer. After two years of training news-people in Seychelles, Ecott was planning to return to London and his job with BBC World Service. Instead he decided to resign and write full-time. While in Seychelles, Ecott had become an avid and accomplished scuba diver and the sport became the subject of his first book, Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World. Through historical research and interviews with undersea pioneers and scientists, Ecott traces diving back to well before Jacques Cousteau, following its evolution from ancient Greek sponge divers to World War II frogmen. He also details his own dives amidst reefs and shipwrecks as well as among sharks and dolphins.

Writing for Forbes online, Lorraine Korman described Neutral Buoyancy as "a contemplative exploration of man's relationship to an environment that seems otherworldly." A critic from Publishers Weekly agreed the book is "fascinating," but found Ecott "reluctant to criticize [diving] outright." James Astill of the Guardian was disappointed that his "slightly tedious thoughts do not get close to explaining diving's massive popularity," yet found each chapter to be "absorbing." Neutral Buoyancy's "broad sweep is both [its] strength and its weakness," noted Margaret Rioux in the Library Journal, adding that "it lacks an overarching focus." Rioux added, however, that the book is "both enjoyable and informative" and found Ecott to be an "excellent writer." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews agreed that the book is "as elemental, entertaining, and stimulating as the environments it traces," noting that "Ecott displays a knack for conveying the particular atmosphere of each place." In Booklist, Gavin Quinn found Ecott's passion to be contagious, and felt both casual readers and serious divers "will be stunned (or amused) by [the book's] tales."



Booklist, July, 2001, Gavin Quinn, review of Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World, p. 1968.

Guardian, July 28, 2001, James Astill, "Underwater Worlds," review of Neutral Buoyancy.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2001, review of Neutral Buoyancy, p. 378.

Library Journal, March 15, 2001, Margaret Rioux, review of Neutral Buoyancy, p. 89.

Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2001, review of Neutral Buoyancy, p. 80.


Forbes, (April 30, 2001), Lorraine Korman, review of Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World.

Scuba Travel, (September 28, 2003), interview with Tim Ecott.*