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New Book: “Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving” by Howard Rosenstein
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, May 23, 2024 @ 07:00 AM (EST)

If you know the name Howard Rosenstein, it may be because you bumped into him at a dive show as he extolled the virtues of the latest Fantasea camera housing or wet lens. But before Howard’s Fantasea Line was a popular maker of underwater photography equipment, the name “Fantasea Cruises” was attached to an extensive liveaboard diving operation, which took divers the length of the Red Sea and as far as the Seychelles. In fact, along with his wife Sharon, Howard opened one of the very first dive operations along the Sinai coast in the 1970s, becoming a pioneer of Red Sea diving and working with luminaries such as marine biologist Dr. Eugenie Clark and underwater photographer David Doubilet—themselves trailblazers in their respective fields.

It is this early part of his storied diving career that Howard shares in the soon-to-be-released memoir, Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving. The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame inductee promises tales of discovering “sunken treasures,” navigating “murky shipwrecks” and “rubbing shoulders” with world leaders during his journey developing dive tourism in the Red Sea.

Released on July 2nd, Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving features forewords by “Her Deepness” Dr. Sylvia Earle as well as Doubilet, who is also among the photographers contributing images to the book. Published by Dived Up Publications in the UK, the 208-page hardback volume, which is priced at £30 (~US$38), will be available for purchase from the publisher, online and from retailers. See the press release below for more details.


Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving
A Pioneer's Journey by Howard Rosenstein

With Forewords by Sylvia Earle and David Doubilet

Howard Rosenstein wasn’t just opening the first dive school in Sharm El-Sheikh; he was cracking open a hidden world in Sinai. This true story dives headfirst into those groundbreaking times, where celebrated guests, uncharted dives and historical discoveries became the extraordinary routine.

It’s a tale of grit, where resourcefulness and connections fueled Howard’s pioneering spirit. From Roman coins glinting on the seabed to the dark, unmapped depths, his dives unveiled sunken treasures and secrets of the past. But these weren’t just underwater adventures—they were tightrope walks between nations still at war. He braved floods, aided grounded ships, and even braved the depths of Mount Sinai itself.

Howard’s journey wasn’t a solitary one. He rubbed shoulders with underwater legends, bestselling authors, true photography greats, and even world leaders. He navigated murky shipwrecks, charmed amorous sharks, and found himself a player in the delicate dance of peace negotiations.

‘A captivating voyage through the exotic wonders of the Middle East’ – Amos Nachoum

‘Howard Rosenstein had a dream that he made a reality – he built, and they came’ – David Doubilet

Through his dive centers, first in the Mediterranean and then exploding onto the Sinai scene, Howard became a pioneer of recreational diving. He shared the magic of the underwater world with a generation, igniting a passion that would forever burn, his only desire that it would never end. But peace, like the tide, comes with a change.

  • The extraordinary story of the entrepreneur who pioneered Red Sea dive tourism with a cast of unforgettable characters.
  • How a dive school in a train carriage at the edge of the desert became a global destination.
  • A journey of success and purpose, illustrated with 200 images by the author and others, inc. renowned underwater photographer David Doubilet.

About the author

Howard Rosenstein is a one-off who was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2009. In this memoir, he shares the more surprising as well as his favorite stories from the early part of his long diving career.

The book

Release date 2 July 2024
RRP GBP £30 | Hardback | ISBN 978-1-909455-53-5
208 pages | 1st Edition | 240 x 159 mm
Available from Divedup.com, online and from retailers

Praise for Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving

‘Once in a great while a book comes along that combines masterful storytelling, riveting adventure, charismatic characters, and meaningful messages that will continue to haunt you long after the last page is turned. For me, Treasures, Shipwrecks and the Dawn of Red Sea Diving is that book... I urge readers to dive into this book for vicarious adventure, for insight into a life well lived, for reasons why you, too, should succumb to the urge to submerge, and for unbelievable stories that are most wonderful because they are true.’
Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer, Founder of Mission Blue (from the Foreword)

‘A rollicking fun tale... scuba divers worldwide are indebted to them.’
Kathy Sullivan, history-making astronaut and oceanographer

‘A fascinating story. Howard's diving life took him from ancient history, to being among the first to see sharks mate in the wild, to world politics as his pioneering efforts helped make the wonders of the Red Sea available to divers from around the world.’
Marty Snyderman, underwater photographer, author and photojournalist

‘A captivating voyage through the exotic wonders of the Middle East, above in the Sinai desert and beneath the cobalt blue waters of the fabled Red Sea. His ability to traverse cultures and disciplines while remaining true to his vision is inspiring. This book records one man's adventures pioneering scuba diving during high politics in the Middle East and is a testament to the transformative power of curiosity, determination, love for the ocean and the desert, and respect for the world around us. I urge you to pick up a copy and embark on this thrilling journey.’
Amos Nachoum, award winning nature photographer and diving travel pioneer, BigAnimals.com

'Howard Rosenstein had a dream that he made a reality—he built, and they came.'
David Doubilet (from the Foreword)

‘A fascinating story that, if it was not the real-life of Howard Rosenstein, it would make a first-class adventure novel. The book details Howard’s work with the top underwater photographers and marine scientists in the world as they dived, photographed and researched some of the most pristine marine environments in the world. Howard’s love for the marine environment went well beyond science and involved bringing the world and all its varied and sometimes contentions partners together for the sake of tourism and conservation. This is not only a story worth reading, it’s a story worthy of sharing with everyone who loves the sport of scuba diving and the underwater world.’
Dan Orr, Diving Industry Consultant



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