Test in Reading Comprehension Form 8
Staying alive at sea
It can be dangerous to travel by sea. Ships sometimes sink far away from land. When this happens, the sailors have to get into small boats. If another ship does not come and help them, and they do not have enough food or water, they may die.
Most people believe we must not drink sea water. They believe that if we do we shall be very ill because of all the salt in the water. A doctor called Alain Bombard did not believe this. He thought that people could stay alive by drinking sea water and eating small fish, animals and plants from the sea. On the 19th October 1953, he sat out in a small boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. He did not take any food or water with him.
Every day Dr. Bombard drank just a little sea water. He also caught fish and they had water in them. He drank this water. He could not cook the fish so he ate them as they were. He took small plants from the sea, which gave him more food.
Dr. Bombard became hot, tired and quite ill, but after 65 days at sea, he was still alive. He travelled 2,750 miles from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other and on the 24th December 1953, he reached Barbados.
He lost 20 kilos but he showed that people can live on sea water and the animals and plants in the sea.
Match the words and phrases:
1. food a. go down under water
2. sink b. sometimes to eat
3. wait c. small ships
4. boat d. stay for someone or something
2. Complete these sentences using words: dangerous, salt, alive, miles, sinking, caught, ill, litlle.
a. At the end of the journey, Dr. Bombard was ______ but happy.
b. Dr. Bombard drank a ______ sea water every day on his journey.
c. Most people cannot stay _____ at sea without food or water.
d. It was very ______for Dr. Bombard to travel alone at sea.
e. You won’t get to the town tonight. It’s many _______ away.
f. I went fishing last week and I ______ three fish.
g. I like to put ______ on my meals.
h. Help! My boat is ______ and I can’t swim.
3. Find these words in the passage:
dangerous (line 1) travelled (line 25) believe (line 7) just (line 17)
Match each word to the nearest meaning:
think to be true
went from one place to another
4. Fill in the words die, show, lived, without, water, across, took in the correct place in the text:
Many people die at the sea because they have no food or water. Dr. Bombard wanted to (a) that people can drink sea water and not (b). He went (c) the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat (d) food or water. His journey (e) 65 days. He (f) on fish, sea water, and small plants. When he came to Barbados, he was tired but alive.
1. 1b 2a 3d 4c
2. a-ill b-little c-alive d-dangerous e-miles f-caught g-salt h-sinking
3. a - believe
b – just
c - dangerous
d - travelled
4. a. show b. die c. across d. without e. took f. lived