A Little Bit Of History
Loch Ard, the ship under the command of Captain Gibbs, departed England for Melbourne in 1878 with 17 passengers, 37 crew and cargo when it collided with a rocky reef close to Mutton Bird Island, near Port Campbell. Tragically, only two of the people on board survived the accident: one of the ship’s apprentices named Tom Pearce and a young female passenger named Eva Carmichael, who lost all of her family in the tragedy.
The couple was the subject of intense public interest and romantic speculation. Tom received a hero’s welcome in Melbourne and, after six weeks, Eva returned to Ireland. They never saw each other again.