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While their parents stretched out on the beach, Rebecca, thirteen, Kelly, eleven, and Jason, nine, were busy frolicking at the water's edge. It was quite early in the morning and the sea was quiet except for a red and white boat named Sniper that was making several trips across the water. As he began to doze off, Richard saw Rebecca and Kelly heading into the water. The girls were strong swimmers, and he was not worried for their safety.

About half an hour later, Richard was rudely awakened by Jason's frantic screams. The Sniper had smashed into his sisters. Pointing at the sea, Jason was hysterical.

Slightly disoriented, Richard jumped up to see his wife running towards the water. She too was screaming and hearing their cries, several passers-by had also begun to run towards the beach. Reaching the sea, Richard scrambled in and began to swim towards his daughters, but it was a crew member from the Sniper who reached them first. He managed to pull them onto the boat and bring them to shore.

Not being able to see the full extent of their injuries, Richard and Cecilia were initially glad to see their daughters safe on solid ground. When the rescuer put the girls down, however, Cecilia turned to her husband in horror. Rebecca was white with shock, making short gasps. Her right arm was missing from her elbow down. All that was left was a huge ugly mass of matted flesh and bone. Kelly was unconscious and her foot had been sheared off above the ankle. Cecilia felt her weak pulse and grimaced.

As the ambulance rushed the girls to the hospital, bystanders who had gathered at the site of the horrible tragedy set to work. Connecting a prawning net to two small boats, they dragged the net back and forth across the water but with no luck. Then, a few searchers waded out into the sea and lined up shoulder to shoulder. They walked forward covering the accident area until the water was shoulder deep. Time was running out and they knew that if they did not find the body parts fast, it would be too late. Within a short while, someone held up Kelly's foot. A few metres away, Rebecca's arm was recovered. Packed in ice, they were immediately rushed to the hospital.

At the hospital, surgeons worked feverishly for eight hours to save the girls. Rebecca got through the surgery well and although it took four months for her to feel anything in her right arm, she was eventually able to regain normal use of her arm. Kelly, however, was not so lucky. A few hours after attaching her foot, she developed an infection and doctors had to amputate part of her leg. After recovery, she was fitted with an artificial limb instead.

Despite the tragic outcome, however, the Gomez family remains upbeat and considers themselves lucky. Being alive is all that matters. Both girls treasure life much more now and they continue to enjoy an active lifestyle like they used to.

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. When did Richard see Rebecca and Kelly go for a swim ?
  2. Quote the word in paragraph 1 that has the same meaning as 'playing happily'.
  3. Why do you think Jason was hysterical ?
  4. From paragraph 3, who were the people who tried to reach Rebecca and Kelly ?
  5. Why had Cecilia 'turned to her husband in horror' (paragraph 4) ?
  6. Was Rebecca conscious after the accident ? Quote the sentence from paragraph 4 to justify your answer.
  7. What does 'set to work' (paragraph 5) refer to ?
  8. Why did the bystanders stand shoulder to shoulder in the water and walk forward ?
  9. Explain fully how successful the surgeries for Rebecca and Kelly were.
  10. Why do you think the Gomez family' considers themselves lucky' (last paragraph) ?
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Answers
 

1.

He saw them as he was dozing off. / He saw them before he dozed off.
 

2.

The word is 'frolicking'.
 

3.

He had probably / must have seen the boat, Sniper, smash into his sisters.
 

4.

They were Richard, Richard's wife, some passers-by and a crew member from the Sniper.
 

5.

She noticed that Rebecca's right arm was missing from her elbow down and Kelly's left foot had been cut off above the ankle.
  6. Yes, she was. The sentence is 'Rebecca was white with shock, making short gasps.'
  7. It refers to looking for the body parts of Rebecca and Kelly.
  8. They wanted to make sure they covered the whole accident area while searching for the body parts.
  9. The surgery was successful for Rebecca as she managed to regain normal use of her arm, but for Kelly, it was not successful as part of her leg had to be amputated and she had to be fitted with an artificial limb.
  10. The girls could have died in the accident but they are still alive and are able to enjoy the same active lifestyle like before.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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