Location : Loch Ard Gorge Precinct, Port Campbell National Park, Victoria
Limited Edition Size : 300 prints only
Available for Purchase : www.chrismunngallery.com
In the early hours of June 1st 1878, this rugged section of coastline etched its place in history, claiming the Loch Ard, and the lives of 52 souls she carried. Lost in the fog, the Loch Ard met her sad end, smashing into Mutton Bird Island after a short, but desperate battle to save her. As the tragedy unfolded Tom Pearce an apprentice, and Eva Carmichael a young Irish immigrant were cast into the sea. Tom was the first to make it to the shore, having spent time drifting whilst clinging to a capsized lifeboat. Eva eventually drifted towards the shore, clutching debris from the wreck. Hearing her cries for help, Tom re-entered the freezing sea, and fought against the current to bring her to dry land. Once safely ashore, Tom found shelter for Eva in a nearby cave. He then scaled the towering cliffs to raise the alarm and return with help. Thus Tom and Eva entered history, the only two survivors of one of the worst tragedies of the Shipwreck Coast.
Once known as the Island Archway, the two limestone stacks at the heart of this scene are all that remain after the central arch, which unable to support its own weight, collapsed in 2009. Now named after Tom and Eva, these stacks stand as a memorial to the two brave souls who endured that terrible morning of June 1st 1878.
All Images and text Copyright © Chris Munn