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‘Not again!’ Matt exclaimed. ‘What is it with me and engines recently?’
‘What’s wrong, Dad?’
‘I don’t know,’ he admitted. ‘But this boat has seen better days and while I’m sure she’d be hard to sink, the engine feels like it’s ready to give up the ghost at any time now.’
‘Great!’ she replied.
As if it had heard Matt’s words, the outboard motor spluttered once more and uttered a loud BANG. The cloud of oily smoke that immediately billowed out behind them was much more substantial this time. Matt eased back on the throttle, but the damage had already been done. The engine continued to run, but as Niamh felt the boat slow an awful mechanical clattering sound began to build that sent juddering vibrations through the boat. With a final grinding metallic protest, the motor stopped and the boat wallowed to a stop.
‘Great!’ Niamh repeated, looking all round for any sign of another boat to hail. There was nothing but sea in all directions. ‘Of course!’ she muttered. ‘Why should things start to go any better now?’
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