Dir: Richard da Costa, Alex Parkinson | UK Doc, 90′
Playing out like a thriller Last Breath, examines the dramatic true story in a way that cleverly keeps us guessing right through to the final credits. Told through first-hand accounts of the people affected it combines archive and black box footage together with underwater reconstructions of the fatal events.
For Chris Lemons it was just ‘another day at the office’. As a commercial diver in the petrochemical industry he was going through his customary procedure of descending 262ft underwater for a routine inspection of a drilling structure at the Huntington oil field, 115 miles east of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. At the same time Parkinson and da Costa add dramatic poignancy to the party by featuring emotional input from his colleagues and his wife-to-be, busily making preparations back home for their wedding celebrations in Scotland.
But the tone is doom-laden while we wait for inevitable in a day where nothing went according to plan. Lemons’ vessel started to drift due to a systems failure causing his “umbilical” line, supplying both air and heat, to twist and then sever, leaving him with only his emergency air tank –and about 5 minutes of breathing gas to keep going, the rescue team was half an hour away. Parkinson records extraordinary underwater footage of the events, keeping our nerves on fire in this moving and informative documentary that explores one man’s fateful fight for survival in the cruel sea. MT
ON RELEASE FROM 5 APRIL 2019.