Dunkirk Little Ship sinks and breaks up

Lucky escape for owners of Tantalus, which was holed and sunk at Teddington

A motor boat which played a

part in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940 has broken up after sinking in the River

Thames. Tantalus capsized while

coming alongside in Teddington and was swept downstream into a post at the top

of the moorings.


RNLI spokesman commented. “Two people managed to get on to the mooring with one

cat, and Teddington lifeboat rescued the other cat aboard. We moved the tractor

to the park and used it to pull the boat off the post – and it disintegrated –

all the owners’ belongings and boat floated off downstream.”

Tantalus, originally named Jovial, was a twin-screw 35ft motor cruiser built by

Richardson in New York in 1937, shipped to the UK, and based at Newton Ferrers.

She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy soon after the outbreak of World War II, took part

in the Dunkirk evacuation, and remained in naval service until sold in 1946.