Constance and the Runaway Ship
Constance, the coast guard ship, was at the Big Harbour entrance. She inspects all the ships, before calling the Dispatcher to let him know that a ship is ready to come into the harbour.
One morning Constance was at herusual spot, looking out at the ocean. At last she caught a sight of a container ship. The ship saw her and started to slow down. It stopped near-by her. “Good mornig!” said Constance, “my name is Constance. Before I send for a tugboat to bring you in, I must inspect you.” “Alright,” said the ship. The ship lowered it’s anchor into the water. “What’s your name?” asked Constance as she watched the anchor go down. “Roger,” replied the ship. Constance began to inspect the shp. Already she knew the anchor was rusty and old. She could also see that Roger’s paintwork had worn away, and every part of him was rusty. Finally Constance was done inspecting Roger. “You’ll have to wait for Foduck,” she explained, “and he’ll take you in. After you’re unloaded you’ll go to the Repair Dock for repairs.” “I’m fine,” grumbled Roger. “I haven’t had any break-downs in a long time.” “You don’t look safe to me,” said Constance firmly. Then she went onto her radio to speak to the Dispatcher. “Constance to Dispatcher?” “Dispatcher to Constance,” replied the Dispatcher. “A ship has arrived. Send for Foduck. This ship is not safe. It needs repairs.” “I’ll send him right away,” replied the Dispatcher. Roger lifted his anchor out of the water. “Where are you going?” asked Constance. “Into the harbour,” replied Roger, “where else?” Before Constance could stop him Roger quickly started onwards into the Big Harbour. Constance wanted to stop him, but she couldn’t leave her spot. She called the Harbour Master. “Constance to Harbour Master! Runaway ship in the Harbour! Repeat, runaway ship in Harbour!” “Please don’t let any ships into the harbour. I’ll take care of the rest,” replied the Harbour Master urgently.
Foduck was nearly at the harbour entrance when he saw a ship coming into the harbour all by itself. “Stop!” exclaimed Foduck. “All ships must be brought into the harbour by a tugboat!” “I can do whatever I want!” replied Roger as he cruised along. Foduck raced to the ship docks as fast as his engine would let him.
When he arrived George and Emily were buttoning onto a ship, preparing to take it out of the harbour. “You can’t take the ship out of the harbour,” said Foduck. “Why not?” asked George. “Because there’s a runaway ship in the harbour!” “Then what should we do?” asked Emily. “Wait here til further notice by either me, the Dispatcher, or the Harbour Master.” Then Foduck left to warn Theodore.
Theodore was pulling Barrington along. He was on his way to Clayton with oil containers. As he neared Clayton he saw Roger. Theodore tried to get out of his way, but Roger blocked Theodore every time. “Hold on Barrington,” cried Theodore, “I’m going in!” He roared his engine and sped across. Roger sped towards Theodore. But Theodore and Barrington made it, with seconds to spare. “Phew!” sighed Barrington with relief. “That was close!” Foduck arrived moments later. “Have you seen a ship coming through the harbour?” he asked. “Yes,” replied Theodore, and he explained. “Do you know where Hank is?” “He’s working at the Coal dock today.” Foduck turned and sped off after Roger.
Hank pulled Shelburne along, who was loaded with coal. They were on their way to Clayton. Hank saw Roger in the distance. He turned round and started to head back the way he came. “Why are we going back?” asked Shelburne. “A ship is blocking our way,” said Hank urgently, “and it’s coming towards us!” Hank went as fast as he could. Roger tried to catch up to Hank, but his load of containers were too heavy, and made it hard for him to go faster. Hank’s load was heavy too, but not as heavy.
They neared the Coal dock. Hank blew his whistle. “Clear the dock!” he warned everyone. “Runaway ship approaching!” Hank took Shelburne to the other side of the Coal dock where they would be safe. Roger soon arrived. He tunred sharply to keep going into the harbour. Ahead he saw an opening, only big enough for a tugboat and a barrage. “Come on,” groaned Roger as he tried to stop, but the containers were too heavy. With a loud crash he hit a dock, breaking his bow. Hank unbuttoned from Shelburne. He went to examine Roger. When he was sure it was alright, he buttoned onto Roger and took him to Clayton.
On their way Foduck saw them. He was surprised to see Hank pulling Roger. “What happened?” asked Foduck. “He crashed into a dock and his bow broke,” explained Hank. Foduck radioed the Harbour Master, who radioed George and Emily to let them know that it was safe to take their ship out of the Big Harbour.
Clayton saw them coming near the Container Terminal. “I thought you were bringing coal,” said Clayton, confused. “I was,” laughed Hank, “but this ship had an accident and I wanted to help him.” “That’s the right thing to do,” agrred Clayton. Clayton quickly unloaded Roger. Once he was unloaded Hank took him to the Repair Dock. The pilot boats, Pearl and Petra were waiting for them there. “Thank you Hank,” said Pearl kindly. Hank left the ship and went back to collect Shelburne. Roger was lifted onto the dry dock. “After you’ve been repaired,” scolded Petra, “you’ll be leaving the Big Harbour immediately.” “We don’t allow recklessness in our harbour!” added Pearl. They left for their dock, leaving Roger feeling ashamed of himself.