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isten in English

Five Months at Sea

Published: 10.29.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 3:21
Accent: British
BBC Global News Podcast (10.27.2017)

A news story about the rescue of two sailors and their dogs who had been lost at sea for five months.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • drifting [v] - floating in the ocean
  • remarkable [adj] - unusual
  • run into [phv] - encounter
  • under sail power [exp] - using wind power, not engines
  • make land [exp] - come to land
  • a distress call [n] - a call for help
  • a vessel [n] - a boat / ship
  • unfold [v] - happen
  • alert [v] - tell
  • a detour [n] - using a alternate route
  • blow kisses [exp] - pretend to kiss by kissing the hand and blowing
  • malnourished [adj] - having not eaten enough food
  • an ordeal [n] - a terrible experience
  • an affiliate [n] - a news station
  • navigate [v] - plan and travel a route
  • undoubtedly [adv] - without a doubt
  • seemingly [adv] - apparently

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [adv] - adverb,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. How long were the sailors drifting at sea?
    a little less than 5 months
    exactly 5 months
    a little more than 5 months

  2. Who was on the boat?
    two men
    two women
    two dogs

  3. What was the sailor's planned route?
    Tahiti to Hawaii
    Hawaii to Tahiti
    Tahiti to Japan

  4. What problems did the sailors encounter?
    lack of food
    lack of water
    bad weather
    engine problems

  5. How long does the trip usually take?
    about 3 weeks
    about 13 weeks
    about 30 weeks

  6. When did they start issuing distress calls?
    after 40 days
    after 3 weeks
    after 2 months

  7. Why did no one hear their distress calls?
    They were too far away from land.
    Their radio was broken.
    They didn't have a radio.

  8. Who heard their distress call?
    an American Navy ship
    a Taiwanese fishing boat
    the Japanese coastguard

  9. Where were they when they were discovered?
    close to Guam
    close to Japan
    close to Taiwan

  10. Who rescued them?
    an American navy ship
    a Taiwanese fishing boat
    the Japanese coastguard

  11. How did the women survive such a long trip?
    They caught fish and captured rainwater.
    They had a lot of dried food and water purifiers.
    They prayed to God.

  12. What kind of food did the man mention that the sailors had brought with them?

  13. What adjectives did the woman use to describe the situation?

  14. Who did the sailors offer their thanks to?
    the dogs
    the Taiwanese fisherman
    the American Navy personnel

  15. What sex are the dogs?

  16. What issues surprised the the news man?
    They were experienced but still had trouble.
    The dogs were able to survive.
    No one seemed to know they were missing.
    They had brought so much food with them.

triangle Script

Now imagine drifting at sea for nearly five months. That's what happened to two sailors and their two dogs who’ve finally been rescued after getting into difficulty in the Pacific Ocean. I asked Jonathan Turley about the story.

It's remarkable Val. Jennifer Apple and Tasha Freud, they are both from Honolulu, set out on their small yacht with their two dogs from Hawaii to Tahiti, which is a very popular route with sailors. It should take about three weeks, but they ran into some bad weather on the 30th of May. Their engine failed, but they tried to carry on under sail power alone and make land. But they ended up drifting way way off track about 2000 miles west of where they should have been. Two months in, they started issuing distress calls on a daily basis, but they went unheard. It just seems that they weren't close enough to land or any other vessels to receive any help.

So how did the rescue unfold then? Who heard them in the end?

Well it was on Tuesday and they were 900 meters off the southeastern coast of Japan. And it was a Taiwanese fishing boat who eventually heard their distress call. They alerted the Coast Guard in Guam who set about organizing a rescue, and it was the US Navy vessel, the USS Ashland based in Japan, that took a detour and went to find them. They recorded this footage of the moment with the two women and their dogs, who were clearly very relieved to see them.

So their arms waving, blowing kisses towards the sailors on the boat there. After five months , that must have been an incredible moment. You know the dogs were very excited to see them.

And how's everybody doing now? Because I looked at the pictures and the dogs looked pretty thin didn't they.

Yes they did look a little bit malnourished, but they managed to survive on board, the women, with water purifiers and about a year's supply of dried food, supplies that they had taken with them – oatmeal, rice, pasta, that kind of thing. So they seemingly are in reasonably good health despite this very long ordeal, and they've been speaking to CBS News affiliate KGMB in the US on the phone from the U.S. Navy vessel that they're on at the moment about their ordeal at sea.

It was very depressing and it was very hopeless, but it’s the only thing you can do. So you do what you can with what you have. You have no other choice. We probably had less than 24 hours before our boat sank. It was incredibly emotional, and it was so satisfying knowing the men and women that serve our country would come and assist us.

You’re alive, you’re fed, you have water, your boys are happy, and it’s love.

The boys are happy, being dogs, I guess she's referring to there. Now as I say, they’ve been medically checked out and seemed to be in good health. There are some questions about how they were drifting for so long. The engine lost power of course, but they were seemingly experienced sailors and would have been able to, you would thin, navigate using cell power alone. But these things will undoubtedly become clear in the weeks and months ahead. Perhaps they had told someone where they were going and you might think that somebody might have noticed that they'd been missing for so long. But in a statement issued through the U.S. Navy, Jennifer Appel one of the women said I'm grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw them on the horizon was pure relief.

Well Jonathan Plate there with that happy story.

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