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Chris Munn Photography

A Time to Reflect, Port Campbell VIC

Loch Ard Gorge Precinct, Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia

Product ID : CM61732 / Edition Size : 300

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.

I arrived at Loch Ard Gorge on a hot spring afternoon. A gentle offshore breeze had come up, caressing the foliage growing around the tops of the limestone cliffs, while the waves thundered below. As the sun slipped below the horizon, the last rays of sunlight bounced off the broken cloud, bathing the scene in shades of pink, purple and yellow. A beautiful sight lay before me, and as I captured this scene, the Shipwreck Coast's treacherous nature was masked by the tranquillity of a perfect moment.

* Sizes Shown are in inches. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.