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A story of loss and life

NEARLY 30 years after Susan Berg was orphaned in a boating accident, she has decided to share her story.


Susan Berg wrote a book about losing her family in a boating accident.

Her book, The Girl Who Lived, is about the day in 1985 when she was the sole survivor when the family boat went down in Westernport Bay.

Her father, William Berg, mother, Valerie, and brother, William, all died in the accident.

Remembering her 15year-old self was tough for the Huntingdale mother, especially remembering calling out to her family during the 3½ hour swim to land but not hearing anyone call back.

“Writing it was quite traumatic, but right now I am the happiest I have ever been,” Ms Berg said.

“I think that’s because I was able to relive it and then package it up and put it behind me.”

The family left Warneet on the afternoon of October 27, 1985, but soon into the journey the boat started taking on water and quickly sank.

She thought about writing the book for a long time and finally worked up the will on a motorbike ride from Melbourne to Byron Bay.

“I thought maybe it could help others who had lived through tragedy realise that they could lead a happy, fulfilling life and that it doesn’t need to define you as a person,” Ms Berg said.

The Girl Who Lived is in bookshops and online.

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