St. Saviour’s NS, Rathdrum Class: 6th Class
Our story begins like any other day. I live a very ordinary life in America and never expected anything extra-ordinary to happen to me!
My name is Jade. I am 15 years old and I live in Los Angeles. I’m just an average girl that loves adventures and loves hanging out with my friends. I live quite close to my school so in the morning, I meet up with my friends and we walk to school together. My three best friends are Ali ,Kaylee and Hannah.
Ali loves dancing, she is very clever and she loves spending time outside. My other friend Kaylee is very musical and normally spends most her time playing the guitar. Kaylee is a couple of months older than us so she has a job in the local shop down the road.
Hannah is really sporty and she loves playing basketball and going on runs! Hannah is the youngest one so she does not have a job yet but loves walking local dogs for a couple of dollars.
On this particular Wednesday, when we arrived in school, we were immediately called to an assembly in the school hall. Everyone was curious as to why we were all being called to the assembly. Our principal announced there was a major water leak in the school and for health and safety the school would have to be closed for the remainder of the week. Everyone screamed with joy!
Immediately Ali, Kaylee, Hannah and I started planning on what we would do with this unexpected holiday. As we all love the outdoors and our parents have a lot of camping gear already, we decided that we would love to go camping for a couple of nights.
We all agreed that this was the best plan of action and prepared to go home to ask our parents.
Luckily our parents were very agreeable and even offered to help us pack with the equipment. Kaylee’s Dad suggested a lovely camping spot in a campsite not too far away from our house.
The next morning we set off for the campsite with all our parents. This was the first time that we had set off on our own to camp so all parents were understandably a little nervous.
When we arrived at the camp site our parents helped us to settle in and got us all set up. We had a lovely spot close to the river and had good shelter. They helped us set up our campfire and after some persuasion they left us to our own devices.
First on the agenda was dinner! Luckily Ali’s sister was training to be a chef so she had given us lots of lovely bread and salads. We started to cook some burgers and sausages on the fire and we were in heaven.
Then Kaylee took out the guitar and we sang songs into the early hours of the morning. It was the best night ever.
Every time I think of our camping trip, I think of that magical night and wish we could go back to that perfect time before everything started to go wrong……….
We woke up the next morning as snug as bugs in our sleeping bags and big smiles on our faces.
Immediately, all our phones started to bing as our parents were texting to see that we were still okay after our first night in the campsite.
We slowly got up and started to get dressed and organise ourselves.
Even though we were so full from our dinner the night before we cooked more sausages and they tasted so good!
We decided to take a dip in the sparkling river. It was so refreshing as we didn’t have shower facilities. We all felt re-energised after the swim.
We decided to go on a bit of a hike to take in the amazing nature all around us.
We noticed that the wind was getting up a bit and the sky was very dark and gloomy but we didn’t think anything of it. We didn’t see any weather updates or news so we had no idea that a storm was on its way.
We headed back to the camp site and started the fire again for our evening meal. This time we all helped with the preparation and we had a delicious meal of baked potatoes and chicken. We were all very proud of ourselves.
Again Kaylee took out the guitar for a sing song and we roasted marshmallows on the fire. we all seemed much more tired tonight so we went to sleep much faster.
During the night I remember waking and hearing the gushing of water, but I thought it was just the river. There was definitely more wind on the second night but we all slept through it.
We all woke at about 6a.m. to realise that water was making its way into our tent. We immediately started to grab our clothes, food and essential items like our phones. When we stuck our heads out of our tent we realised that the camp site was like a river. We were definitely feeling scared. Suddenly, the tent started to move with us inside of it. We were being swept along in the water. It was like we were in a covered boat! We tried to stop it with our feet but the current was too strong. We all started shouting and screaming but nobody came to help us. We were floating along the river at speed and there was nothing we could do to stop it. I kept on thinking that at least we were good swimmers. I suddenly remembered that my dad had for some reason packed life jackets. I managed to reach them and threw one to each of the girls.
After a while of floating on the river, I dared to look out of the tent through one of the windows to see what was happening. Unbelievably, it looked like we were heading out to the sea. How was this happening?
We spotted a little island a few kilometres out from where we were entering the sea and we all tried to steer ourselves with our bodies towards the island. By some miracle we managed to arrive on the island. We were so grateful to arrive to the safety of the island that we all cried with relief. After a few seconds it started to dawn on us that the situation was bad and we were a long way from home.
We eventually plucked up the courage to walk out of the tent and start to explore the island. We walked together shouting for help, but there didn’t seem to be anyone there. We were desperately trying to get coverage on our phones but there didn’t seem to be any coverage and more worrying our batteries were running low.
We were really starting to despair when out of nowhere a woman appeared. She walked towards us and we didn’t know whether to run or not!
She told us not to worry that she meant no harm. We all starting telling her what happened to us and she said our story was a common story.
Suddenly lots of people starting walking from a forest area and the woman explained that like us all of these people had gone on a camping trip and an unexpected storm hit and they ended up on this island for months and for some of them years.
We all started to cry and shout “NOOOOOOOOO!”
We asked why they hadn’t escaped and they explained that every time they tried another storm hit. It was as if the island wanted to keep them there. And now we were also trapped.
It was a small comfort to have people to help us and share our problem with, but we all worried so much that we would never make it back home. Suddenly we started to think about our families back home and how worried they would be about us. However, we also knew that our families would immediately be on the road to come to the campsite to check on us. It would only be a matter of time before we would be saved. We could also save the other people on the island.
The people invited us to eat with them and warm ourselves at their fire. They were all very nice and they actually admitted that they had grown to really like their island. They said at home they were always very stressed with work, money and life, but here on the island there were no stresses like that. They of course missed their families, but the island offered a simple life.
That night we slept in our tent beside the other people. They had hammocks set up for everyone and it was very peaceful. We went to sleep not really sure what to think of our new situation.
The next morning we woke up and started our new life on the island. We helped out by collecting firewood and even trying to catch fish. Unfortunately we were not very good at fishing!
We listened to the stories from the other people on the island. Some of them were solicitors and accountants and had really difficult jobs. They explained that this island offered a break from all of the stress of their jobs. We even recognised some faces that we had seen on TV as missing people.
We had some supplies with us that we had managed to keep safe in the tent and we shared them with the group. Everyone really appreciated everything that we had.
That night Kaylee played music and others joined us. It was a really friendly place and certainly an evening that I will remember forever.
We woke the next morning to hear a helicopter swooping overhead. It was hard to realise what it was for a moment but then suddenly it dawned on us. We ran outside from the tent and started waving madly. All the other inhabitants started doing the same. Finally the helicopter saw us and tried to land.
Unfortunately every time the helicopter tried to land, a huge wind would blow to stop the helicopter. It was as if the island was trying to keep us there.
Eventually a winch man lowered a rope and made his way down to us.
We were so happy to see him. We ran over to him and hugged him all together. He told us that our parents were so worried and they would be so relieved to know we were safe and sound.
We then told him about all the other people trapped here and he couldn’t believe it.
He said he had been involved in searching for those people but every time they had flown in this direction the island had been hidden in a cloud. Again, the island was definitely trying to keep everyone there, but thankfully this time it looked like we would escape.
The rescue man whose name was Dave, radioed to the helicopter to tell him we were safe and about all the other people.
Dave started to arrange for other crew to come and save us.
By early evening all the people who were stranded on the island were rescued and brought back to shore. The island did its best to try to keep us there with winds and storms but the helicopter pilot managed to keep going and we succeeded in getting off the island.
Everyone was reunited with their families. It was amazing to see how happy everyone was. Even the television crews had arrived to interview us and the other people from the island.
Our parents were barely able to speak when they saw us. They hugged us so tight we could barely breathe. We apologised that we had lost their camping gear and they assured us that it didn’t matter.
They bundled us into our cars and drove us home. I couldn’t wait to get into a hot shower and nice clean PJs.
That night as I wrote in my diary I could barely believe what happened on our very ordinary camping trip!