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Jacques-Yves Cousteau was well-known as an explorer of the sea and as an environmentalist, calling for the protection of the sea. He was also an inventor whose invention has helped many today to scuba dive.

Cousteau's dream was to be able to explore the sea freely. Before his invention of the Aqua-Lung, this was not possible. People were able to dive then. However, heavy helmet and boots, and a hose that supplied air, which was perhaps connected to a ship on the surface of the water, added to the cumbersome outfit. Divers could not move freely then but had to struggle across the seabed. This was not for Cousteau and he realized he could make vital changes. For air, the diver could carry a cylinder of compressed air with a hose that allowed him to breathe in and out. Through a joint effort with a French engineer, Emile Gagnan, the Aqua-Lung was eventually designed.

The Aqua-Lung was unique in that it allowed the diver to go to deep waters, yet, simultaneously, protected him from being crushed by the pressure of the water. The Aqua-Lung, in effect, opened up the sea to man. We can now explore underwater caves, study the wrecks of ships from long ago, and observe the behavior of underwater creatures.

Cousteau also oversaw the building of a tiny submarine called the 'Diving Saucer', which can collect underwater specimens and even take photographs. Thus, even if a person cannot dive to an area because it is simply too deep and dangerous, the 'Diving Saucer' can be used instead.

Through his work, Cousteau became aware of the increasing pollution of the sea. He wanted others to be aware of it also-the overfishing and the pollution that had damaged ocean life. Cousteau passed away in 1997, but his work is carried on by his son. Many people, who are just as concerned about the state of the oceans, continue to fight for the protection of the sea today.

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. Who is an environmentalist ? Explain why Cousteau was called one.
  2. Before the invention of the Aqua-Lung, why was Cousteau unable to explore the sea freely ?
  3. Why must air be supplied to divers ?
  4. Quote the sentence from paragraph 2 that tells us the Aqua-Lung was not the sole invention of Cousteau.
  5. Based on paragraph 2, why is it not necessary for a diver using an Aqua-Lung to be connected to a ship ?
  6. What will too much water pressure do to a diver ?
  7. What does 'simultaneously' (paragraph 3) mean ?
  8. In what way had the Aqua-Lung 'opened up the sea to man' (paragraph 3) ?
  9. Explain clearly how the 'Diving Saucer' is useful in the study of the sea.
  10. From the last paragraph, explain clearly the 'state of the oceans'.
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Answers
 

1.

It is someone who wants to protect and save the environment. Cousteau was called one because he wanted to protect the sea.
 

2.

The heavy/cumbersome/bulky equipment he had to wear and the hose that connected him to a ship made it difficult for him to explore the sea freely.
 

3.

Humans need air to breathe and since divers cannot breathe underwater where they have to spend a long period of time, air must be supplied.
 

4.

The sentence is 'Through a joint effort with a French engineer, Emile Gagnan, the Aqua-Lung was eventually designed.'
 

5.

The diver is already carrying a cylinder of compressed air with a hose that allows him to breathe in and out.
  6. It will cause a diver's body to be crushed. / It will crush his body.
  7. It means 'at the same time'.
  8. Man can now explore parts of the sea that could not be reached before and study those sea creatures that re found in deep waters.
  9. It can explore areas that are too deep and dangerous for divers by collecting specimens and taking photographs.
  10. Overfishing and pollution had damaged ocean life and the damage is ongoing. / The oceans are still being destroyed by pollution and overfishing.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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