Diving was a boys-own adventure, a jump into the unknown full of devil-may-care attitudes. It welcomed you with one hand and cast you asunder with the other. It was a hideous bitch goddess and it drank the blood of the unprepared.
The second of Amanda and Gerard O Brien s four sons, Hugh Obi Robert O Brien was born in 1979 and grew up on the family sheep and wheat farm, near Young in New South Wales. Obi attended Sydney boarding school St Joseph s College, a rugby academy, where old-school English customs and Dickensian group living honed his fast developing survival skills. His lacklustre performance in both sporting and academic endeavours ingrained a sense of underachievement that would fuel Obi s later success in the Special Forces. After high school, Obi attended university somewhat aimlessly. On the advice of his younger brother Phil, a member of the armed forces, Obi applied for the navy as a Clearance Diving candidate, and against all odds he found success and acceptance with these subaquatic supermen. With an unquenched thirst for adversity, Obi applied for Special Forces with the army s counterterrorism unit, TAG (East), a secretive team of divers and commandos, tasked with defending the domestic population from harm post-9/11. Admittance to this unit their failure rate is in the eightieth percentile was the defining moment of his life, the chance to serve where angels fear to tread and ma