Script: Listening Exercise 46

John Millen
John Millen |

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Voice 1: Listen to this true story about spooky happenings at sea and then answer the questions. Are you ready to be scared? Have you got the lights turned down? Good. Let us tell you the mysterious story of a ship called the marie celeste. Everything you are about to hear is true.

Voice 2: It was early morning on December 8, 1872. The ship Dei Gratia was nearing the end of a long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from America to Europe. The sea was calm and the weather good. The ship’s captain was pleased with the time his ship had taken to complete the crossing. There had been no delays or problems. The port of Gibraltar, off the coast of Spain, was waiting on the horizon.

Voice 1: Suddenly, some of the sailors began to shout at the captain. They had seen another ship heading straight for them. If the Dei Gratia did not pick up speed quickly and get out of the way, there would be a collision. The sailors continued to shout excitedly. The captain looked at the ship through his telescope. He was surprised and worried by what he saw.

Voice 2: The ship was getting closer to them, but it was moving very slowly. It didn't seen to be going in any particular direction. Who was steering? Why could the captain of the Dei Gratia see no sailors working on the decks? He ordered four of his crew into a small boat and told them to go and investigate the strange ship. He watched anxiously as the sailors climbed aboard the ghostly vessel. The captain could see that the ship was called marie celeste.

Voice 1: When the four sailors returned to the Dei Gratia, they were shaking with fear. They had found the marie celeste completely deserted. The kitchens were full of food and drink, and there were half-eaten meals on the tables. The sailors had searched every inch of the ship and they had found no signs of damage or violence. What had happened to the crew?

Voice 2: The marie celeste was towed into the port of Gibraltar where the authorities began and immediate inquiry, but no one could provide any answers to solve the mystery. The crew of the marie celeste had simply vanished into thin air. Had a mysterious disease killed them? If this was the case, where were the bodies? Had the crew been captured by pirates? But there was no evidence of violence on the ship.

Voice 1: No one will ever know the truth about what happened to the crew of the marie celeste. Many experts have written about the mystery, but nobody has come up with a real solution about what happened on the doomed vessel. No clues have ever been found. The story of the marie celeste will always remain one of the great mysteries of the sea.