Clear And Present Danger question

I am completely baffled as to how the Coast Guard guy Wegener managed to stage the hanging of one of the guys they captured. Apparently they did it to coerce the other guy into talking. I just read the part where the FBI dude Murray warns him that they know what happened and not to do it again.

I’ve reread over and over and can’t figure out how it was staged. It sure as hell seems liked they hanged the one guy, but they also make it perfectly clear that they are both alive.

So did I miss something? How was this done? Or is this revealed later? I’m only up to chapter 7, right where they finally introduce Ryan. I’ve never seen the movie and this is my first time through the book, so no spoilers please.

Mm, I read the book a long time ago, but IIRC:

Because of the rocking of the ship, the man’s weight is never fully suspended – that is, the body acts like a pendulum bob and it sways above the ship, around the gallows, hanging by the rope. The rope is taut, but the man doesn’t die because his neck doesn’t snap --his body never hangs straight down for long enough. This may or may not be revealed later, I don’t remember.

I hope that makes sense…

ElwoodCuse, it does come out a little later in the book. Look for a scene where the Master Chief (I think his name is Casey) is talking to another character – how the ‘hanging’ is pulled off is revealed in that conversation.

This was my favorite Clancy book, BTW. Love Ding and Mr. Clark.