Less than two days later, right in Iskenderun, there is a great opportunity to make the best use of the last two limpet mines. At 2,000 metres from the beach, the Fernplant is anchored, a Norwegian steamship with an overall length of 127 metres, a tonnage of 5,274 tons and a deadweight tonnage of 7,000. It is loaded with 6,000 tons of chrome ore.
It's twenty minutes past midnight and Ferraro can proceed to attack.
Next to the Fernplant there is a Turkish merchant ship loaded with chrome ore that has to be transferred onto the Norwegian steamship. Both ships appear lit by the light of daylight: the right side of the ship is also lit and, at about 4 metres from the extremity of the bow, two powerful floodlights, one on each side, cast their beams of light onto the hull and over the water. Ferraro, keeping at a due distance, starts circling the target in the hope of spotting, along the side, an area that is not so bright, which would enable him to approach. But in vain: a battery of seven floodlights on each side pours powerful beams of light against the sides of the ship and over the sea. The only solution is to attempt an approach from the bow: by the bow the brightness dims a little, and it is less likely that there are people about.
It is two in the morning when the commando reaches the bow, his favourite point of attack. He surfaces for a few moments where no one can notice him. He looks up, checks all around, then starts breathing from his oxygen rebreather, dives again along the bow, using his bare fingers to keep contact with the keel. At this point, he measures the approximate distance he has covered by extending out his arms out like a compass. And when he believes that he is half way down the ship, he retracts from the keel heading towards where the starboard bilge keel should be. The dazzling glow of the floodlights, which before his dive posed the most serious danger, now turn in his favour: below the water surface there is no longer absolute darkness, but a diffused silver twilight that helps the Gamma Man to make out the outline of the starboard keel.
He places the first limpet mine at the front of the keel, tightening the clamps, fixes the sliding connector, extracts the pin that holds the propeller in place, tears the floats using his knife and moves towards the rear of the keel, repeating the entire procedure with confidence. All done. At 2:30 he re-emerges from below the ship, exactly in the same spot where he initially entered the water.
The motor-ship Fernplant will end up sinking in the waters off the Syrian coastline.



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