The choke points either side of Stran Island created turbulent water as the tide rose. Warm, murky sea water streamed past currents of cold, clear fresh water in a complex jumble of flows that messed with the buoyancy of the Pigs as they tried to traverse the gap.
Breaking into a pocket or current of fresh water whilst trimmed for the sea could have the manned torpedoes plummeting toward the rocky bed. Conversely, trimming for fresh water could drive them up to broach the surface. Which was exactly what happened to North 3.
As they started to rise the pilot desperately tried to take on water and adjust the trim, but it was too late. The tail broke surface first, the propeller spinning up a froth. The bucking as the tube tried to settle in the waves threw the second crewman off then cracked the Pig down on him.
The limp body floated away, caught in the main flow of the current that had caused the catastrophe. The second crewman was the person who attached the explosives to the ship�s hull whilst the pilot held station. The pilot was turning toward the current to follow when a patrol boat rounded the island. He urged the tanks to fill faster and take him to a safe running depth.
There was a shout, the second crewman, in underwater gear complete with air tanks, had been spotted. The boat raced toward the limp body. The Pig was nearly under water, but the pilot, high in the saddle, was still exposed. Something splashed in the water to his right. He looked up and saw muzzle flashes from the autoguns on the boat�s bridge.
There were more splashes to his left. He frantically turned the arming key. It clicked as he primed the long fuse, a few more turns and he would arm the short fuse. Twin lines of splashes churned up the water and converged on the Pig. The pilot was hit several times and was dead before his body started to slide off the Pig.