Pirates liked making their captured enemies walk the plank. That is they would nail a plank to the edge of the ship much like a diving board. Then they would tie the enemy up so they couldn’t move anything except their feet a little. Then the pirates would set the victim on the ship side of the plank and make them move forward by the point of their swords. The small foot movements would eventually get the victim to jump off the plank’s far end. Because the victim was bound they wouldn’t be able to swim and thus drowned in the water.
Perhaps the pirates liked it because it was slow torture. Perhaps they liked to play mental games with their poor victim’s head. Maybe there was a third reason.
I bet the pirates liked to compare the quality of the various dives they had seen. “One time we made this guy walk the plank and he flopped forward on his belly and face. He hit hard enough that that may have been the cause of death. He cheated us out of a drowning.”
Or, “I still remember the one victim like it was yesterday. They fell cleanly into the water head first and disappeared under the water. They cheated us out of seeing that death.”
Or, “We had one like that they didn’t enter the water so cleanly but they squirmed under the ship and thus cheated us out of watching their death.”
It was bound to happen sooner or later that before they were bound, one victim who knew the drill and had certain skills might say, “I’ll walk the plank just don’t bind me. That way I can show off to you a one and a half somersault in the air before cleanly entering the water. I will enter the water so cleanly that there will almost be no splash.”
Always up for something new the pirates agreed. After the clean entry and the fulfillment of the contract the victim swam for shore and spread the news that the pirates were really dive aficionados.
And you thought police actions by the mighty states who plied the ocean stopped piracy. Really it was this being a spectator to good diving that led to the downfall of piracy. Soon all would be pirates filled the stands of diving competitions the world over instead of their trusty ships.
Did you think that the disappearance of piracy and the rise of competitive diving weren’t linked? Well they were and are. Without so much as one sword raised, would be pirates get to see the finest diving this world has ever seen.
If you can show me a place on earth where piracy still exists I will show you the same place has no serious competitive diving opportunities.