Deep Boat (2005) is a pleasant departure from the usual Clunge works, offering a sneak peek in to the murky world of SBS operations in the Persian Gulf. The story centres around the alleged true account of a secret operation to destroy an Iranian submarine spying on coalition forces, whilst making it look like a terrible accident. Mickey 'Two Sausages' McKie is an SBS Swimmer Canoeist, an expert at underwater sniping and knife fighting, and the only man for the job.
The enemy sub lay silent and still on the seabed, its conning tower rising from the murk like the black monolith from the movie 2001 a Space Odyssey. From the giveaway bubbles rising slowly to the surface like a child's lost balloons, McKie spotted the two enemy divers on external sentry. McKie was on a re-breather so they had no chance of seeing him. In fact they had no chance whatsoever.
Hidden behind a bank of coral, McKie took aim with the CO² operated spear gun, taking care to adjust for the light current in the balmy Gulf waters. A light squeeze was all it took before the razor-sharp lance powered away through the half light before plunging through one of the diver's heads, killing him instantly. McKie thought he'd have time to reload, but he'd been compromised. There was nothing for it. He briskly swam the few feet before engaging the other swimmer with his blade.
The enemy frogman was no easy kill. Realising the threat, the startled diver drew his own dagger. He may have been top of his course, but he was no match for Poole's finest. A twisting, thrashing melee ensued, McKie trying to rip his foe's regulator from his mouth. This guy was no pushover. Both divers sank to the seabed in a flailing frenzy of flashing blades and fins, kicking up sediment when they hit.
Through the cloudy water, McKie could see his adversary's eyes wide with horror at his impending demise. The enemy diver tried in vain to slash McKie's air hose but to no avail. McKie blocked the repeated thrusts. A wide slash parried, McKie saw the opportunity and plunged his issue AquaTech Raptor® deep in to his opponent's ribs, the saw back blade filling the surrounding water with dark clouds of blood. McKie withdrew the blade and slashed the enemy diver's throat with so much force it almost severed the head. Job done! Now for the sub.
As with Clunge's other literary masterpieces, Deep Boat is controversial and raises more questions than it answers. Was the Royal Navy hostage drama in direct response to the operation described? We shall never know. It makes for compelling reading.
Is this for real? - Warship World
Gotcha! - The Sun
Good effort - Andy McNab
A thousand curses on your camel - Lt Cdr Abdul Aziz (Iranian Navy)