A NEW book has been released telling the story of the complex rescue of two men from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dive explores the actions of those who worked to save Roger Mallinson and Roger Chapman from a grim death 1,600 feet down in 1973.

The two men had been laying deep-sea telephone cables 150 miles off the coast of Ireland.

The aft sphere of their submersible, Pisces III, had flooded at the end of the mission, causing the vehicle to sink.

It was up to those on the surface to retrieve the pair, who were in the employ of Vickers Oceanics in Barrow, before their air ran out.

Stephen McGinty, author of the new book, said: "It is the most remarkable post-war British maritime adventure and it's been completely forgotten.

"It [the story] has been buried in the Atlantic Ocean for almost five decades and I think it's time to bring it to the surface."

The rescue mission was coordinated by Commander Peter Messervy, general manager of Vickers Oceanics and a former Royal Navy rescue diver.

One rescue submarine was flown in from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and another was shipped from the North Sea. A remote-controlled miniature submarine was flown in by the US Air Force.

Four separate attempts were made to save the pair to no avail.

Finally, a repaired Pisces II, which had been damaged during the first rescue attempt, was successfully piloted down to the ocean floor and its stranded namesake lifted to the surface.

Mr Chapman later revealed the pair had had less than 15 minutes of oxygen left. The two men had been under water for more than 84 hours when they were finally rescued. Mr Chapman, who lived in Broughton, died last year.

Last month, Mr Mallinson, of Troutbeck Bridge, and dozens of former Vickers staff met at Windermere Jetty Museum for a reunion and to launch Mr McGinty's book.

The Dive: The Untold Story of the World’s Deepest Submarine Rescue, published by HarperCollins, is available for purchase online.