PHILIP   SOLOMON

 

Philip Solomon
In January 1966, Planet Productions bought out Project Atlanta and now had complete control of both ships. Project Atlanta, who had controlled the Caroline South ship, had accumulated long term debts due to the station not attracting as much advertising as hoped for. This was due to the increased competition with the other offshore stations situated around the South East coast of England. At the time it was stated that without the buy-out Project Atlanta would have gone bankrupt. As a result of the merger, Planet Productions paid off the debts of Project Atlanta, who continued to receive a small revenue from the Caroline organisation.

Philip Solomon joined as executive director in February, with the role to increase advertising. Solomon was also managing director of Major Minor Records, whose records became increasingly aired on Caroline. Philip Solomon acquired 20% of the total shares in the company, at a cost of £200,000, and stated that he wanted to make some changes in the Caroline programme format.

 

Drifting
With Radio London attracting much of Caroline's audience, it was decided to install a more powerful transmitter and to change frequency. This opportunity came about in an unexpected and dramatic way, on 20th January, when a force eight storm was raging as Caroline closed down for the night at 10pm. Around half an hour later, the swivel rope controlling the three anchors broke, and the ship started to drift. It was snowing, and no one aboard noticed anything. Walton coast guard noticed the Mi Amigo was adrift and tried to contact the ship without any success. The tender Offshore One set sail, and managed to get alongside the Mi Amigo. It was only then the crew onboard noticed the ship was drifting, and was only yards from the beach. The Mi Amigo grounded at Holland Haven, on a stretch just big enough to take her. By the early hours of the morning, the Walton Lifesaving Apparatus Company had rigged a breeches buoy, and illuminated by flares, the broadcasting staff and ships crew were taken off. As daylight came onlookers could see just how lucky the Mi Amigo had been, either side of her were two concrete groynes.

On the beach
The salvage tug Titan put a five inch, eight hundred yard cable on the Mi Amigo and made many attempts to pull her free, but eventually gave up after the cable broke. The Mi Amigo's Captain decided to make his own attempt to free the ship, by laying out the anchor and chain, and using the anchors winch gear to drag the ship off the beach towards the anchor. Using this technique, known as kedging, he managed to refloat the ship, which then anchored a mile offshore for divers to inspect the hull, before sailing to Holland with the tug Titan in attendance.

On the 23rd January, the Mi Amigo arrived in Zaandam, and was dry docked at Zaanlandse Scheepsbouw Maatschappij N.V.

Ronan O'Rahilly

Ronan O'Rahilly

Philip Solomon

Philip Solomon

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Major Minor

Aground

Aground

Aground

Back at sea

Back at sea

Mi Amigo gets off the beach

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