Eva Carmichael- My Story

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Posted by lillie2010 | Posted in Journal Writing, Uncategorized | Posted on December 5, 2011

I was hoping to start a new, happy life back then. 1878 was when it all happened. On my journey to Australia.  My Father, Mother, Three Sisters, Two Brothers and I. We were all sick of the harsh, cruel life in Ireland. We decided to have a fresh start and move to Australia. All I knew about Australia was that it was a nice, hot, sunny country. I was ready to get some sunshine in my life!

Eventually our journey started and we were sailing on The Loch Ard to Australia. There were lots of bitterly cold nights while sailing. Lots of people died on board. There was little room to move around considering the amount of people crammed into such a little space.  

The trip had been going well until March 31st. I knew most of the trip had passed and we were soon to be in Australia. But, on that night, my life was near an end. The Loch Ard was heading for a rock. The captain tried with all his might to stop the ship and turn it around. “All hands on deck” he called. There was yelping, screaming and all things in between as The Loch Ard was rocking and about to crash. The back of the boat hit the rock. The Loch Ard had a tear on its stern. Within 20 minutes- it sank. The feelings and emotions of the passengers, crew and the captain were unimaginable. It was frightening, cold and dark. I was scared and so were others.

The rest- I would call history. I was floating around in the frigid water for hours. I clung onto one of the masts that had broken and fallen off the ship. Waves were crashing against me. At that point in time I was certain that I was the only survivor. All I could think about was my family and what sort of conditions they were in. Dead or Alive?

The harsh currents of the water were washing me forwards. I was frightened. After several hours floating I saw some cliff faces and a little enclosed lagoon. In the distance I could see a man pacing around on the shores. I screamed for help.

That’s how I got here today. The man I saw in the distance saved my life. Tom Pearce was his name. I later found out that he was also included in the shipwreck. He found his way there- like me. He gave me some Brandi that he had on hand. He found some farmers and we stayed at their homestead for several weeks. I don’t know how he did it. To find people in such harsh conditions- I owe my life to that man. My life could have ended that day.

The next day my mother and one of my sister’s washed up. We buried them. I unfortunately will never know what happened to the rest of my family. I just hope they found their way to a nice, sunny resort somewhere in Hawaii where they can live the rest of their life.

I am so lucky. I survived a shipwreck. Thank you Tom Pearce.

Written and edited by Lillie

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