一起听英语 133 船长的指责 - 听力课堂
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一起听英语 133 船长的指责

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2018年06月14日

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一艘轮船,谁的职责最大,毫无疑问是船长,船长都有哪些责任和义务呢?

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Rob and

joining me today is Jen.

Jen: Hi.

Rob: Hi Jen, Now I'm sure like everyone else, you heard the news recently about the

cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, which hit some rocks and capsized – or

overturned.

Jen: Yes I did hear. It really was a dreadful story, terrible news for everyone involved.

Rob: It was a terrible disaster. People have been discussing and speculating how it

happened and particularly about the actions of the captain. In today's programme

we're talking about what is and what isn't acceptable behaviour for the captain of a

ship during a disaster at sea.

Jen: In other words, the captain's etiquette. But Rob, shouldn't we start with a

question?

Rob: Of course, I hadn't forgotten. As we're talking about ships, I wonder if you know

how heavy the world's biggest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, weighs? Is it:

a) 2,500 tonnes

b) 25,000 tonnes

c) 250,000 tonnes

Jen: I can honestly say, I've got no idea about how much a cruise ship would weigh but

I guess if it's the world's biggest, I'll go for the biggest number, 250,000 tonnes.

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2012

Page 2 of 6

Rob: Well I'll reveal the answer at the end of the programme. So today, we're talking

about the role of the captain on a ship. In the recent disaster involving the Costa

Concordia, it was alleged the captain abandoned ship before all his passengers

had escaped. Whether this is true or not, what should the captain do in such a

situation?

Jen: Well when the famous ship, Titanic, sank in 1912 the captain was the last on

board.

Rob: Very heroic. Let's hear from another heroic man, Lord West of Spithead. He used

to be the professional head of the British Royal Navy – what is called 'The First

Sea Lord'. He was captain of HMS Ardent in the Falklands War and was the last

man on board when it sank.

Jen: So he understands why abandoning ship is never an option for a captain, even

during a disaster. Here he is speaking to the BBC's James Naughtie about the

history of this captain's etiquette. What does he say is 'expected' of a captain?

Lord West of Spithead:

Well I think it's a very important custom and a rule. It goes, if you think, back to the Titantic, the

Lucitania. You know, the Captain stayed on the bridge until they were washed off as the ship

sank. And I think it is expected of a captain to remain on board to look after the safety and

security of his people until the last one has gone.

Rob: So in a disaster, he thinks staying at the ships controls – or what is called the

bridge – is an important custom and rule. It is the expected behaviour.

Jen: Yes, it's what people expect the captain to do. He is responsible for the safety and

security of his passengers until the last one has gone. On the Titanic, the captain

was finally washed off the bridge as it sank.

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2012

Page 3 of 6

Rob: But even if captains are obeying the rules or doing what they think is right, there

could be something else that compels them to stay on board. This is something the

BBC's James Naughtie asked Lord West of Spithead.

James Naughtie:

It's more than that, isn't it? It's more than a practical question of, you know, being in charge until

the rescue is complete. It's something that's in the DNA of a sea-going person. It's

unthinkable…it just goes utterly against the grain to be anything but the last man off.

Lord West of Spithead:

That is absolutely right. It is a core aspect of duty.

Rob: So that's James Naughtie, suggesting that staying until everyone is off the ship is

part of a captain's DNA – it's in their genes.

Jen: He used a good phrase – 'it goes utterly against the grain'. It goes against the grain

to be anything but the last man off. In other words, you do the opposite of what is

usually done.

Rob: Or you're not willing to abandon ship because it contradicts what you believe in.

And Lord West of Spithead agrees. He says it's a core aspect of duty – it's the

most important part.

Jen: Basically, the ship is the captain's top priority – even more important than his wife

and family!

Rob: Yes, incredible – and Lord West of Spithead uses a name to describe what

captains call their ships. Have a listen to this.

Lord West:

Certainly in the Royal Navy, it's referred to 'Your Grey Mistress'…because…

James Naughtie:

Your Grey Mistress?

Lord West:

… (because) you spend more time looking after your ship and being with your ship and

everything than you ever do with your wife, your family. And it is – it's an absolute part of you

and there comes a stage where you'll fight like mad to keep your ship safe, to look after it and to

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2012

Page 4 of 6

secure it. And then you have to make a decision that it's too late, your ship is going to go. You

then have to look after your people and the people you're responsible for.

Jen: Ha! He says in the Royal Navy, the ship is referred to as 'your grey mistress'

because the captain spends more time with her than his wife!

Rob: And the captain will do everything in his power to save the ship and all the people

on board, if it's about to sink. But I wonder if this is an old fashioned custom and

maybe everyone should try to just save themselves?

Jen: Hmm, I don't think a captain would ever think about doing that.

Rob: Maybe. So have you given any thought to my question? I asked you if you know

how much does the world's biggest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, weigh? Is it:

a) 2,500 tonnes

b) 25,000 tonnes

c) 250,000 tonnes

Jen: And I said it might be 250,000 tonnes.

Rob: You are right. The Oasis of the Sea weighs more than 250,000 tonnes. It can carry

6,000 people and it has more than 3,000 miles of electrical cabling - that is about

the distance from London to New York. That's a big ship for a captain to be

responsible for. OK Jen, we've just time for you to remind us of some of the

vocabulary we have heard today:

Jen: Yes, we heard:

capsized

speculating

etiquette

abandoned

6 Minute English © bbclearningenglish.com 2012

Page 5 of 6

heroic

custom

compels

genes

contradicts

mistress

Rob: Thanks a lot Jen. And that's all we've got time for in today's programme. Please do

join us again for more 6 Minute English on our website at

bbclearningenglish.com. We'll see you next time. Bye.

Jen: Bye.

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