Solveig Aanstad (pictured bottom right) was on board the Eastland attending the Western Electric employee picnic with her mother Marianne, older sister Borghild, and uncle Olaf, a Western Electric employee. As Solveig and her family boarded the Eastland, her mother remarked that "she did not like the feel of the ship." Originally from Norway and having previous experience with many different boats, her mother had an understanding of boats and their stability in the water.
Solveig and her family were on the starboard side of the Eastland when it rolled over into the Chicago River. They were thrown into the water, but were in a compartment where there was air. They could see the sky above them through the portholes. After her uncle Olaf ensured that she was safe, Solveig was able to keep herself afloat until being rescued from the water several hours later.