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'Man Overboard' is a story about a girl named Vasantha and her experiences on a ship she travelled alone for the first time. She narrated the story based on her experiences and had given a detailed description of an incident on that ship. It was the first time she travelled alone on a ship. Her excitement while travelling on a ship was tremendous. S.S. Rajula was the name of the ship she travelled. Vasantha remained with her grandparents for some time and was returning to her parents, who were waiting for Singapore's arrival.
She waved to her grandparents, bidding farewell to them, for a long time as the ship sailed out of Madras harbour. She was excited and thought it to be a pleasurable experience to be on board since it was her first time.
A voice approached her, asking, "Are you travelling alone?". She said, 'yes' to that person and called him Uncle. It must be that he was surprised to see a small girl travelling alone on a ship fearlessly. This shows her boldness. She explained that she was on the way to her parents in Singapore and was travelling alone. He then inquired about her name, to which she responded, "Vasantha." Though she travelled alone, Vasantha was confident and courageous. These qualities must have made her family sure to let her travel independently.
Vasantha had spent nearly one day on the ship, looking around every nook and corner. For her, it seemed to be a huge house. She had went and seen all the places inside the ship. There were furnished quarters, a swimming pool, an indoor games room, and a library on the ship. Though she explored more places, there were still so many places to visit inside the ship.
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*Swimming pool on a ship
Vasantha had a good time on her first day. The story continues the next day as the passengers were enjoying breakfast in the dining hall. There was an announcement made all of a sudden. The Captain had an important information to convey to the passengers.
The Captain's voice sounded much loudly and clearly across the ship. He reported on the status of the Indian Ocean, saying that a sudden storm was brewing there. The Captain requested the passengers not to be afraid and keep themselves calm. Most importantly, he asked for seasick passengers not to leave their cabins but to remain in them. The announcement seemed to have created lot of choas among the fellow passengers.
Despite the Captain's request that the passengers not be worried, things were getting worse. The danger of the sea frightened people. "Oh God! Have mercy on us", called out an old woman, pleading for God to save the passengers from the impending disaster. She prayed to God to save the ship as her only son was waiting in Singapore for her arrival.
On seeing her being anxious and worry, a gentleman comforted her with his soothing words. He told her that nothing would harm her because the Captain's announcement was just a warning. He tried to console her, explaining that there were fewer chances for the ship to meet with a disaster since the announcement wasn't severe. Another woman seated next to Vasantha seemed to be very sick. She was extremely worried, and she confirmed that she was already seasick. So, if the reported announcement would come true, she would undoubtedly pass away with the action of a rough sea.
Vasantha was confused as to why the elders were so concerned. She didn't know the reason behind people's strange behaviour in worrying about the storm rather than enjoying that. As a child, she didn't want to stress herself. Also, she was more attracted to adventures. Instead, she decided to observe nature's beauty. Apart from her age, her curiosity was also another reason that challenges elders' age and experiences.
Vasantha's mind had been preoccupied with the stories of sea experiences she had read about. Vasantha then began to approach a man sitting next to her. "Uncle, won't it be exciting to face a storm aboard a steamer?" she inquired. She also questioned as to if he had ever been on a ship during a storm. She was excited as she awaited the ship's arrival in the Indian Ocean.
The stranger's reply to Vasantha was the complete opposite of what she had expected. He told her that it would be so bad and unpleasant to be on a ship during a storm. He then shared his bad experiences while being on a ship during a crisis. It seemed that their ship wandered for a couple of days on the ocean.
Vasantha was reminded of her teacher's narration on her journey during the class. Her English teacher once explained how there had been a big storm near Gibraltar while crossing the English Channel on her way to Singapore. The English Channel is the busiest shipping area in the world. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of Iberian Peninsula. From side to side, the ship swung back and forth. The things of the cabin went up and down. It seems that even the pianos that were too large collided with the wall.
Vasantha's imagination was inspired by the enormous explanation provided by her class teacher about her travel experience.
"Wouldn't it be fun if the wind broke when we were having lunch?" she asked a person near her. She imagined how wonderful it would be to have lunch on a ship during a storm in her specific way. The tables with all the food items on them would move, and their chairs, if they were on them, would be a merry-go-round.
While having conveyed Vasantha's imagination and expectations, people around the table were shocked and looked at her weirdly; but, Vasantha did not care. Vasantha's thoughts were a bit odd. She thought to herself that they didn't have any sense of adventure since they were adults. For Vasantha, the elders seemed to be dull ones; they did not like to look around nature's works as they were afraid of it.
Although there was no heavy storm as predicted, there was a powerful wind in the evening. The ship swayed back and forth as if it were tossing and rolling to the music of the wind. Huge waves were striking the ship. Vasantha was running across the ship's deck, even though it was slippery, admiring nature's work. During that time, Vasantha happened to notice a person on the deck. He was leaning against the railing.
Vasantha ran toward him, believing that he, too, was enjoying the strong wind's work. She wished him a pleasant morning. Also, she inquired as to whether being on the deck in a strong wind was a pleasurable experience. He didn't reply.

The real fact was very different. He wasn't feeling good. His movements confirmed his seasickness because it seemed he was inclined to it. He struggled to breathe over the handrails, having been hit by the cold and struggled with vomiting sensation.
His condition was pathetic. Vasantha felt sorry for him and asked if he needed any help. She asked if she should consult a doctor to help him feel better from his illness.
When Vasantha asked the person if he required any aid, he could not answer because he was sick. He managed to raise his hand, signalling that he needed help. His vomiting feeling had shaken his body once more, and so he bent over the railings. At that point, a large wave had hit the ship violently. The sick man was thrown into the ocean floor by the violent, unmanageable waves.
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Man Overboard
Vasantha was motionless and she lost her mind on that condition because she had no idea what to do. There was no one else in the area. Vasantha ran about like a mad person, shouting, "Help! Help!" Man overboard! Save him!" Vasantha's voice was undoubtedly too loud. Despite the early hour, she heard footsteps approaching her quickly in no time.
As soon as Vasantha saw an officer approaching, she ran toward him; and shouted unclearly. She couldn't speak properly, as the man's dive completely stuck her on the sea. The officer looked very serious and enquired Vasantha to speak out the reason as to why had she shouted. She was surprised because the officer was the captain of the ship. She didn't think of anything but only to save the man. She explained the situation to the captain immediately. “A man fell into the sea. Please save him.” She then pointed out the finger on where the victim had fallen down.
The captain didn't wait for more details. He ran toward a room that was full of officers. He shouted at them, saying, "Man overboard". He then instructed the crew to halt the ship and lower the anchor. The crew members followed his orders. After that, the captain rushed to the upper deck. Vasantha followed after him. He then directed the lifeboats and crew to be lowered into the sea towards the helm. The captain shouted, "There's a man overboard!" All of his orders were executed by the crew. The deck started to be surrounded by people.
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*The rescue team 
All were confused as to why the captain was doing those tasks. Someone asked Vasantha, "What's going on?" The news of the incident quickly circulated across. Everyone was nervous about the outcome and wished for an update. There were a few shouts of, "There he is!". The identity of that person was a topic of discussion among them. One person inquired as to who that person was, to which the other answered, "I don't know."
The instructions given by the captain were carried out by the crew immediately. The discussion between the ship members continued on the upper deck of the ship. Meanwhile, two life-boats were dropped towards that man. Vasantha stood close to the captain. The captain was anxious. While being tensed, he had held the shoulder of Vasantha tightly, and her facial expression changed due to the pain. As a child, she might have felt his hold to be paining. She immediately told him the same as he was hurting her.
The captain immediately regretted his mistake and apologised for holding her shoulder tightly. He then explained her sea's situation. He pointed out to her that the sea was rough due to the heavy storm.
He guaranteed Vasantha that his crew would be successful in reaching and getting the man. He also explained to her that his ship had never lost a passenger in his ship before. While having said this, he was crossing himself, which shows his belief in God. Through his binocular, he observed the crew's rescue works.
The crew managed to reach him. Nothing terrible had happened to him till that time. Nature had pitied that sick patient and helped him be alive, even during the adverse situation.
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The victim's hopeless moments
The crew started to pull him by catching his arms. The captain was giving running commentary on the rescue operation to Vasantha as she was more tensed about the man's situation.
Unfortunately, there was yet another rising tide. A strong wind carried the man away, dragging two of the sailors behind him. While looking through his binoculars, the captain became restless. His sadness was noticeable in his voice. Moreover, he observed people surrounding the deck, leaning against the railings.
The ship's deck
He was shocked to notice people against railings because he didn't want to see another accident. He warnedpeople on the deckto stay awayfrom the railings. The ship was not in a standard positiondue to the rough sea weather, even though the captain had dropped the anchorin the sea.
Vasantha was curious to know what was happening during the rescue operation. After all, she saw the man falling into the water unlike other passengers and crew members. She was nervous, scared, and was expecting to get the output of the operation positive. Despite the captain's running commentaries, she took the binoculars from him to see what was happening in the rescue operation. She was watching it through the binoculars clearly without anyone's help.
Around that time, the crew had thrown a rope to the two sailors shouting, "catch". As the sailors were trained professionals and swimming experts, they got the ropes thrown by the crew and successfully swam toward the man. One of the sailors caught hold of him and the other was tied a rope around his waist. Between the two sailors, the man was safely tied. The sailors then returned to the crew boats by swimming. The rescue team aided the three individuals in getting into the lifeboats. The boats returned to the deck in a matter of minutes, with the man rescued.
Vasantha's prompt call, her presence of mind, the captain's initiative and experience, along with his crew, produced a successful output. The man had not drowned. The sea mother had compassion for the victim and did not want him drowned in the sea. He was still alive. The quick work of the team led by the captain had saved a life.
"Thank God!” said the captain of the sea with full of gratitude for God by making the sign of the cross again. He was overwhelmed with God's grace for having safeguarded the person's life. The captain was pleased and satisfied with his crew's performance. He then went to the crowd on the railings and asked them not to be around the rescued individual for the time being. He demanded immediate medical attention. He then turned his attention to the ship's doctor, who was standing with a couple of nurses to help the rescued person.
The patient would then be relocated to the clinical section on a stretcher and the patient would be recovered without any issue. To confirm the clinical status, the captain asked the doctor, "Is everything ready for the patient?" The doctor guaranteed it. He then concentrated on guiding his team. Vasantha, on the other hand, did not leave. She also asked the doctor a few questions as she was a small kid who was worried. She inquired about the therapy that would be provided to him and how it would benefit the patient.
The doctor told her that the patient would return to his normal position in some time. He also briefed her about the therapy that would be given to him. As the man would have expected to have consumed so much water, the doctor insisted on first pumping it out. Second, artificial respiration was advised to help the patient breathe properly, and third, keep him warm.
Vasantha was pleased by the explanation of the doctor in regard with the doctor's treatment. She also wanted to ask more questions as, she asked him, "How can you remove the water?" As a curious girl, she inquired again with the doctor. The doctor quickly described the procedure to her, saying that they would place the patient on his stomach and softly rub him until he brings out the water.
Meanwhile, the rescue crew had arrived on the ship. Vasantha found that the man was unconscious. He was then tied to a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Vasantha was pleased and glad to see that he was still alive. Everyone seemed to be relaxed.
The captain then approached Vasantha and asked her to go and play with her friends for some time. He then informed her he would send someone to get her back to meet him as he had some surprise for Vasantha. The captain then went to carry out his duties.

When the captain went away after speaking with Vasantha, she decided to enter and see the clinical room's treatment status. She entered the clinical section secretly to check out the treatment given for the patient. Though Vasantha couldn't see the patient, she noticed people running around inside the clinical section while carrying out the sick patient's treatment. She had seen two nurses rushing through the hospital section with trays full of medicines and syringes in their hands and another rushing off with the patient's wet clothes. Vasantha might have recollected the different processes involved in aiding the patient, as, first, to clean out his stomach and keep him warm.
Though Vasantha could understand and correlate the treatment procedures with the doctor's explanation, she couldn't wait long enough to determine the patient's condition. She called one of the nurses in the medical section and questioned whether the patient had regained consciousness. Though the answer was 'No' to Vasantha's question, the nurse had assured her that the patient was in a better condition and would regain his consciousness soon.
When Vasantha was confident about the improvement onpatient's condition, and the doctor's treatment, she slipped out of the hospital section hoping for the patient to be recovered soon. She returned to the lounge. The ship was in the same condition as there was no improvement in the weather. Though there was not of expected calamity, strong winds continued to blow.
Since the ship was still rolling, Vasantha couldn't play any games. Vasantha was tired of the chaos that went around due to the incident that occurred on that early morning. She went to the lounge area as she wanted to relax for some time and sat on a cosy chair to rest and read a storybook.
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*Lounge area
Just then that, she slept out of tiredness. After some time, Vasantha heard someone waking her up, saying, “Wake up, child. You’re Vasantha, aren’t you?. She woke up and heard an instruction from that person saying that the captain wanted to meet Vasantha.
Vasantha recognised the person to be a member of the crew. Vasantha was then reminded of the captain's words, and the incident happened that early morning. The captain had already informed Vasantha that he would meet him during his leisure hours. She then followed the officer to reach the captain's room. She was very much excited on having met the captain. The sailor took her near the captain's room and directed her to his room.
The little girl was quite excited to meet the captain, and she was also reminded of the captain's words that some surprise was waiting for her. She knocked on the door and entered the captain's room will full of excitement. While she entered the room, she saw the captain standing over there.
When the captain saw her, he went near her. He picked her up in joy and put her down with a smile on his face. He told her that she would be having so much to say to her friends regarding the sea incident.
Then the captain asked Vasantha to close her eyes; he wanted to show her the gift he had planned for her. She closed her eyes as instructed by the captain. After a few seconds, she heard him saying, "See what I've got for you."

With great excitement, Vasantha opened her eyes. There was a brown box placed before her. On it was written: "WITH THE BEST COMPLIMENTS OF CAPT. LINDSAY." Vasantha couldn't express her happiness. She was too eager to open the gift. When she opened the box, she was surprised to see a stunning miniature of a ship. Her beautiful eyes widened in wonder, and she exclaimed, "Oh, what a lovely ship!" She then asked the captain, "Does this really belong to me? Can I keep it?" She asked him the questions as she couldn't believe that the marvellous gift was for her. These questions also reveal the childlike qualities of the girl.
To Vasantha's eyes, the sculpture of the ship looked like a fantastic treasure. The gift was placed very prettily on a velvet piece of cloth inside the brown box. Vasantha didn't have any words to express her gratefulness or happiness to the captain. She kept the gift box aside and hugged and kissed him.
The captain was glad on looking at her being happy. He patted her cheek and smiled at her. He was so happy to see her carrying the gift box while leaving his room. The captain would sure not forget the timely help of the kid. After all, it was Vasantha's initiative that saved a life.
On the other side, Vasantha was displaying her gift to everyone on the ship, asking, "See what the Captain has given me. Isn't it lovely?". Everyone agreed to it. They happily replied that the gift was looking pretty. Vasantha felt her day was fulfilled. She was very happy for having saved a man's life and also for the gift she had received.
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