Dunkirk Little Ship nearly sinks on the Thames

A Dunkirk Little Ship was rescued after being holed and nearly sinking in the Pool of London

Lifeboats, police boats and a fire boat combined forces to stop a Dunkirk Little Ship sinking on the Thames.

The 89-year-old Bluebird of Chelsea, which had 13 people on board, sent a Mayday call at around 8.30pm on Wednesday evening saying she was holed and taking on water rapidly in the Pool of London.

A lifeboat rushed to her assistance to find the veteran motorcruiser sinking by the stern 150m from Tower Lifeboat Station and in danger of rolling over. The vessel just made it to the pier where RNLI crew helped secure her and ensured that the passengers and crew were safe.

Four pumps were used on board Bluebird, which held the flood until the fire boat arrived with a larger pump. She was then pumped out sufficiently to expose the hole, which was then plugged with a traffic cone until the vessel was rendered safe.

Bluebird of Chelsea was built by Thornycroft at Hampton in 1924 for world land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell. During the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 she was commanded by yachtsman Lt Col Barnard and ferried troops from Dunkirk harbour to larger ships waiting offshore.

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