Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- hysterical / hɪˈster.ɪ.kəl / (adj) – unable to control one’s emotions
The woman became hysterical and started screaming when her child disappeared.
- assure / əˈʃʊr / (v) – to tell someone that something is sure or true
The young mother calmed down after the doctors assured her that her baby was not hurt.
- safe and sound / seɪf ænd saʊnd / (idiom) – not in danger
During the storm, the children stayed inside the room where they were safe and sound.
- frequent / ˈfriː.kwənt / (v) – to visit a place regularly
He frequents the beach, so many people there recognize him.
- happen to (do something) / ˈhæpən tə / (idiom) – doing something without any intention to; by chance
I just happened to meet my old friends when I went on vacation to Hawaii.
Read the text below.
A fisherman saved a baby from drowning at a New Zealand beach.
A couple and their 18-month-old baby, Malachi / ˈmæləkaɪ /, went on vacation at Murphy’s Holiday Camp near Matata Beach, New Zealand. One morning, while Malachi’s parents were sleeping, the toddler opened their tent and went into the water, where the current swept him away.
Meanwhile, a local fisherman named Gus Hutt was fishing at the same beach. He saw something resembling a doll float by. When he reached for it, he realized that it was a baby.
After Gus saved Malachi from drowning, his wife, Sue, went to the camp’s managers to ask if anyone was missing a baby. The management directed her to the couple, who were the only people in the camp with a baby. Sue went to ask them where their baby was. She told them that she and her husband had found a baby in the water. Upon realizing the baby’s disappearance, Malachi’s mother became hysterical until the Hutts assured them that the baby was safe and sound. The mother then thanked the rescuers for saving Malachi.
The rescue of Malachi was highly coincidental. According to Gus, he does not frequent the place where he saved the child. On the day he found Malachi, he just happened to change his routine and fish several meters away from the area where he usually casts his net.
Even experts have called Malachi’s rescue miraculous because there was a very high chance for the accident to end tragically. Statistics from the World Health Organization list drowning as one of the leading causes of death among children.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
• What do you think are some ways to prevent accidents like the one Malachi had? Discuss.
• Do you think high-risk vacation destinations (e.g. beaches, mountains) should ban bringing very young children? Why or why not?
• What kind of training do people need to be able to rescue someone in a life-threatening situation?
• Do you think a person should continue rescuing someone in a life-threatening situation despite not having enough training to do so? Why or why not?