SB Ena
Ena lying on the mud at Hoo, 2018
Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandUnited Kingdom
  • R & W Paul Ltd (1906–2001)
  • Luke Deards (2001–?)
BuilderMcLearon, Harwich, Essex, UK
  • Official Number 122974
  • National historic ship 199
StatusLying in the marshes
General characteristics
Class and typeThames sailing barge
Tons burthen73
Length88.13 ft (26.86 m)
Beam20.6 ft (6.3 m)
Draught2 ft (0.61 m)approx
Depth of hold6.89 ft (2.10 m)approx
  • Sail (1906–1948)
  • Ruston diesel engine (1948–1974)
  • Sail and auxiliary Gardner diesel (1974–2001)
Sail planmulie rig sprit mainsail, topsail, mizzen, gaff rigged with boom.
Capacity150 tonnes
NotesServed in both World War I as an ammunition barge, and in World War II in the Dunkirk evacuation. [1] Focus of 2002, first series of the Salvage Squad.[2]

The Ena is a wooden Thames sailing barge constructed in Harwich in 1906 that is resting on the flats adjacent to Stargate Marina in Hoo, Kent. She is a notable Dunkirk little ship reputed to have rescued 100 men.[3]

In 2002, Ena was the focus of an episode of the Channel 4 TV series Salvage Squad.[2][4]


The barge was built speculatively by W B McLearon at the Navy Yard slip, Harwich in 1906. R & W Paul Ltd, the grain and agricultural merchants bought her in 1907 to use in the grain trade. This was the second barge they had bought from W B McLearon's Navy Yard, as they has bought the Thalatta. They rigged her as a mulie in their own Dock End Shipyard.[1]

First World War service

Ena served in the First World War, delivering supplies across the Channel to troops in France. Her shallow draught allowed her to operate in waters too shallow for the enemy U-boats.[1]

Dunkirk evacuation

Thirteen Thames sailing barges made the crossing, six from R & W Paul Ltd's fleet. On the Dunkirk beaches, her crew were ordered to abandon her. She was beached but then refloated by Lt Colonel W G Mc Kay and men of the 19th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, and taken back to Kent, notable as none of them was a sailorman.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Ena 199.
  2. ^ a b "Thames Sailing Barge". Salvage Squad. Series 1. Episode 9. 2002. Channel 4.
  3. ^ "Dunkirk hero ship Ena pictured decaying at Hoo | On The Thames". 14 August 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Salvage Squad: Sailing Barge on YouTube