In the multiplayer version of the game when a ship shoots another ship with the crew shot, a "random" number of crew sprites are exploded off of the boat and land in the water, sometimes screaming along the way.
When the crew sprites were first implemented the development team was keeping track of literally every crew member on each boat in order to eject them properly into the ocean. Some of the boats in the game were estimated as having upwards of 200 crew aboard, and when these ships were struck with crew shot in the game around 50 player sprites would be tossed overboard, screaming and splashing into the ocean.
During the testing phase it was discovered that whenever ships would use crew shot the frame rate of the game would drop to less than one frame a second as the literally hundreds of dead bodies flew into the sea. The bodies also react to land by bouncing off which gives an exciting effect.
It was later determined that it would be necessary to have only 1/10 the amount of crew on board each ship, which is why only ~5 crew fly off when a ship with a full crew meter is hit by a very strong crew shot.
A feature implemented for testing the game was to kill off all ships other than the local player. This helps speed up 24-kill 7-round death matches that typically last 3 or 4 hours. When this feature was implemented a side effect was that the game would chug to a crawl as every single crew member of every ship in the game rocketed into the air. It led to some very interesting screen shots that were passed around internally.
During development of this title a 3 foot x 6 foot portrait of Orlando Bloom was mounted outside of the art director's door to give him inspiration.