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Panagia Tinou sinking: Greek ferry and former Folkestone to Boulogne ship famously beached after Great Storm in 1987

By Matt Leclere

She's lived a rather charmed life but today was battling for her future again.

The 5,500-ton Panagia Tinou was today sinking in the Greek port of Pireaus near the capital Athens but she has had her fair share of run ins closer to home.

More infamously known in Kent as the Hengist, she was the ferry which was beached off Folkestone during the Great Storm of 1987.

The listing ship in Pireaus port. Picture via @MarineTraffic
The listing ship in Pireaus port. Picture via @MarineTraffic

Firefighters and port staff in the Greek city were today fighting to save the 40-year-old ship after she took on water tied up in Pireaus - the busiest port in Europe.

People took to social media this afternoon to post photographs and videos of tugs hard at work trying to keep the ferry afloat.

Greek media reported how the ferry started taking in water and listing to the starboard side.

It is reported the ferry was empty at the time and docked permanently due to financial difficulties with operators Ventouris Sea Lines meaning it has been banned from sailing.

The picture of the ship Kent residents might be more familiar with when she was called Hengist and beached off Folkestone during the 1987 storms. Picture: Paul Amos
The picture of the ship Kent residents might be more familiar with when she was called Hengist and beached off Folkestone during the 1987 storms. Picture: Paul Amos
Firefighters were reportedly called to pump water from the ship. Picture via @fivos80
Firefighters were reportedly called to pump water from the ship. Picture via @fivos80

She was built in Brest in 1972 and served the Folkestone to Boulogne route until December 1991 before moving to Greece.

On the night of October 15-16, 1987 she was put out to sea after storms caused her lines to become severed whilst in Folkestone harbour.

But the high seas almost forced her to capsize and when an alternator failed, she drifted helplessly on to the beach at The Warren.

Hengist in Folkestone harbour in 1985 when she was serving between the town and Boulogne
Hengist in Folkestone harbour in 1985 when she was serving between the town and Boulogne

She was badly damaged with concrete sea defences bursting a hole in her side and remained beached for a week.

She was out of action for several months returning to service in January 1988.

Six months before the Great Storm in October 1987 she was involved in a far more tragic accident.

Three French fishermen died when she smashed into a trawler whilst swinging out of Boulogne harbour.

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