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Latitude 50° 21.226 N
Longitude 004° 09.363 W
Depth Foreshore
Accuracy 5m
Location Description Drakes Island, SW corner
Reference NMR None
Craft type Boom defence / Balloon vessel
Date built Unknown
Date of loss Unknown
Manner of loss Unknown
Outcome Abandoned
Construction Steel
Propulsion Sail
Nationality United Kingdom
Hull length ~40m
Hull beam Unknown
Hull tons Unknown
Armament None
Crew Unknown
Built Unknown
Master Unknown
Owners Unknown

The Drakes Island Barge

The Drakes Island barge is on the rocks on the south-west corner of the island, 100m to the north of the triangular 'dragons teeth' that were used to block the channel entrance in wartime.

A derrick was fitted to the front of the vessel and until recently this was still standing and visible from some distance away, and on the top of the derrick was a large brass pulley wheel. It was originally thought that the barge was used to support boom defence nets that were laid across the channel between Drakes Island and the Cornish shore.

John Cotton suggests that this is the remains of the schooner Erna built in 1814 and she was used as a barrage balloon vessel in WWII, but the Erna is reported to have wrecked in 1914 and broken up.

Visiting the Barge

The remains of the barge can be seen at low tide on the south-west corner of the island, 100m to the north of the triangular 'dragons teeth'. The tide can be strong in this area so visits should be limited to slack water only.

Drakes Island Barge

The Drakes Island barge, possibly Erna (Larn Collection)

References

The Wreckers Guide to South-West Devon, P71
Web - Historic Shipping

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