SEIZED

 

Seized
On 2nd March 1968, the powerful Dutch tug Utrecht dropped anchor a mile from the MV Caroline, but showed no signs of wanting to communicate with the radio ship. At two o'clock the next morning - 3rd March, a loud thump was heard, and before anyone could get to the deck, Dutch seamen burst into the lounge. The Captain, chief DJ and the chief engineer were summoned and a letter was read out from the Wijsmuller tender company, which stated that all broadcasting was to cease, the studios sealed and the transmitters crystals to be removed. After heated discussions the staff on the MV Caroline complied with the order to avoid all possibilities of violence. Don Allen The crew were left in the dark regarding their future, were they being taken to Greenore to have the unused 50,000 Watt transmitter which was still cased in the hold installed, or were they returning off the Essex coast?

Under Tow
Unknown to the crew, the same events were happening on the MV Mi Amigo, the Caroline South ship. The Wijsmuller Company was owed £30,000 for the tender services to both Caroline ships. One of the Wijsmuller brothers wanted to continue providing this service while the other did not, and had instructed two raiding party's to bring in the Caroline ships. By six in the evening, the anchor systems had been cut away and a tow line had been fixed between the MV Caroline and the tug Utrecht. A long slow tow southwards began, and at times Navy vessels were seen following them. The MV Caroline arrived in Amsterdam on the 9th March. The staff were paid and given air tickets back to England, and told to wait for instructions - but none came. The MV Caroline was to remain in Amsterdam for over five years, until she was sold for26,500 Guilders at a public auction on 29 May 1972, to Frank Rijsdijk - Holland of Hendrick Ido - Ambacht. The ship was later broken up by Van de Marel of Ouwerkerk, Holland.

Ordered to Close
The 3rd March 1968, saw the usual one hour of non -stop music start at 5 am, but twenty minutes later Caroline suddenly went off the air. The Dutch tug Titan had pulled alongside and ordered the station to close down immediately. The duty engineer had tried to broadcast a message, but the microphone was wrenched from his hand, and he was locked in the lounge with the rest of the crew. Like the MV Caroline, the Mi Amigo was towed to Amsterdam, arriving there on the 4th March. The Wijsmuller company, who were owed £30,000 for tendering the ships, had decided to seize both of Caroline's radio ships as security against their debt. The cost of getting both ships on air was estimated at £700,000, and at the time of the merger in 1964, the companies were said to be worth £1,000,000. Running costs for both ships were about £28,000 a month, and advertising revenue was often about £50,000 a month.

Utrecht

The Tug Utrecht

Under tow

Fredericia under tow

Under Tow

 

Titan

Tug Titan

Ships in Amsterdam

Radio Caroline ships in Amsterdam

ships in Amsterdam
ArrowLeft ArrowRight