Ferreras, Francisco 1962–
FERRERAS, Francisco 1962–
PERSONAL: Born January 18, 1962, in Matanzas, Cuba; married Audrey Mestre (fourth wife, deceased, 2002).
ADDRESSES: Home—Miami, FL. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Regan Books, 10 E. 53rd St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Deep-sea diver and writer.
(With Linda Robertson) The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession (memoir), Regan Books (New York, NY), 2004.
ADAPTATIONS: The Dive was adapted for film by director James Cameron.
SIDELIGHTS: Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras is a world champion free diver and author of the memoir The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession, cowritten with Linda Robertson. The book recounts the love story between Ferreras and his fourth wife, Audrey Mestre, who died in 2002 while setting a new world record in the dangerous sport of free diving. During deep-sea free dives, a person goes as deep as he or she can without breathing equipment and then is pulled back to the surface. Ferreras would beat his wife's record of 170 meters (or approximately 561 feet) a year later when he dove 558 feet.
In his memoir, Ferreras tells about meeting Mestre in 1996. She was a marine biology student who had been looking for Ferreras as part of her thesis research. Before long, the two fell in love, and Mestre became the diver's fourth wife. Eventually, Mestre took up the sport herself and before long set a world record in the female diver category. But tragedy occurred on October 12, 2002, when Mestre attempted to set a new world record that would outdistance her husband's record by nearly thirty feet. Because of equipment difficulties with the cable and lift bag she was to ride to the surface, Mestre ascended too slowly, lost consciousness, and died.
Writing in the Library Journal, Edwin B. Burgess commented, "There may be some interest in this full account, but few readers will feel comfortable with the author's boastful self-justification in the face of this tragedy." David Pitt noted in Booklist that The Dive "is in many ways a classic love story with a couple of twists" and added that the book is "also a concise history of the sport of free diving." Pitt went on to write, "Sports memoirs are a dime a dozen, but this one stands apart." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote, "With fluid writing and vivid descriptions, this compelling autobiography explores emotional depths while detailing the sport's beauty, technologies, drama and dangers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ferreras, Francisco, and Linda Robertson, The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession, Regan Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Booklist, September 1, 2004, David Pitt, review of The Dive, p. 47.
Capper's, November 11, 2003, "Diver Sets New Record, Descending 558 Feet," p. 33.
Library Journal, November 15, 2004, Edwin B. Burgess, review of The Dive, p. 67.
Publishers Weekly, August 2, 2004, review of The Dive, p. 64.
Rodale's Scuba Diving, October, 1998, John Francis, "Pushing Limits, Pushing Luck," p. 17.
Skin Diver, December, 1997, Tamara Collins, "Delving into the Depths: Pipin's Dive to 500 Feet Tests the Limits of Human Potential," p. 84.
Sports Illustrated, July 17, 1995, "Sinking to New Depths," p. 8; June 16, 2003, Gary Smith, "Rapture of the Deep," p. 62; October 27, 2003, Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel, "Deep Story," p. 26.
U.S. News & World Report, August 16, 2004, Thomas K. Grose, "Depths of Passion," p. 80.
DiveMares.com, http://www.divemares.com/ (March 24, 2005), "Cameron's Cameras Roll as Pipin Sets New Record."
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive (film), nWave Pictures/Sarai Inc., 2001.