The day Alcatraz was closed – level 3


In 1934, Alcatraz prison was opened in the United States. It was located on a rocky island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Not only the most serious criminals but also prisoners who often tried to escape were brought here from all over the USA.

The biggest obstacle to escape was the location of the prison. Although the island was only 2 kilometers from the coast, the water was very cold and there were strong sea currents.

During Alcatraz’s operation, there were 14 escape attempts involving 36 men. Almost all the attempts were well documented, and all resulted in the capture of the prisoners or their deaths. Only one attempt had an unknown result. Three men escaped using a special boat made of raincoats, and they have never been caught.

After 29 years, the prison was closed on March 21, 1963, due to high operating costs. Eventually, the prison became a museum.

Difficult words: bay (a part of the sea with the land on three sides), obstacle (a barrier), current (a flow of water), capture (when you catch a prisoner who ran away), raincoat (a coat which protects you from rain), due to (because of).

What was the biggest obstacle to escape from Alcatraz prison?


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