Dunkirk hero ship Ena pictured decaying at Hoo

Staff Writer News, Sailing Barges 4 Comments

WHILE the new Dunkirk movie rides high at the box office, one of the ships from Operation Dynamo is lying rotting in Kent.

111 year old Sailing Barge Ena is currently decaying in a barge graveyard in the River Medway at Hoo.

The historic vessel was sailed out to Dunkirk on 31st May 1940 to help with the evacuation but her crew were forced to abandon her in deep waters. British troops without any sailing barge experience were able to board Ena and sail her back to the UK.

According to the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, Captain Atley of the East Yorks Regiment and another soldier built a raft and rowed out to Ena using shovels as oars.

It's estimated by the authoritative 'Dunkirk List', held at the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum, that 100 troops were saved on board 88ft long Ena.

In 2002, Ena was featured on the Channel 4 television programme Salvage Squad - available to watch online here. In 2011, it was reported that she was up for sale on eBay with the bidding starting at £85,000.

But despite the high profile televised effort made to restore her just 15 years ago, her future now looks extremely bleak, abandoned alongside wrecks at Hoo and buffeted by the elements and tides.

Sailng Barge Ena pictured at Hoo on 12th August 2017

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Comments 4

  1. Hammond

    What a shame to see Ena in this state. She was owned by Pauls Malt (now BOCM Pauls) who sold her. My father was her mechanic when she was owned by Pauls. I’m pleased he’s dead as he would absolutely disgusted at her present state. I spent some great days as a child sailing on her. Shame that no wealthy individual is prepared to bring her back to her former glory to honour the men who laid down their lives at Dunkirk where Ena was beached. She was rescued once why can no one do it again. Once she’s gone she’s gone forever. Surely someone cares enough to rescue her from the mud.

  2. lee potter

    sailing barge ena would be still afloat now if the last owner knew what they was doing by corking up the wrong way so this is now she is now got to be layed to rest laying in the graveyard in the medway at hoo my dad use to skipper her at times when tom polly was on holiday or when he could not be at hand so my dad was at hand his name is mr George potter now the age of 82 years of age . he his always talking ABOUT THE OLD BARGES as he went into them at the age off 14 .

    1. lee potter

      sailing barge ena would be still afloat now if they knew they corked her up as my dad did skipper at times if the last skipper her at times if the first skipper could not take her if he had his hands full my dads name is mr George potter he is now 82 and always talking about the old barges as he went into them at the age of 14 nice kind of news to hear going back in the past

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