PRESSED    FOR    TIME

Pressed for time
The Caroline organisation decided in view of all the press reports to bring forward the departure date of the ship, just in case the closely guarded secret of the location of the ship came out. The vessel was supposed to leave on the 2nd August 1983, and the next day the 'Daily Mail' and TV-AM reported that the ship had left port. However this was not the case, as a small problem with the insurance people over the size of one of the lifeboats had delayed the departure. Finally everything was in order, the harbour fees had been paid and the ship given permission to leave harbour at 15.00 hours on Thursday 4th August 1983. The studios had not been completed, but it was thought that they could be finished off on the voyage. There were problems with the engines, so a tug was employed to tow the ship. The Ross Revenge left on schedule and headed out into the Bay of Biscay on the start of her 800 mile journey. The ship made a quite rapid progress across the Bay of Biscay only interrupted once, when a Nato fighter spotted the ship and a minor alert started, until it was realised that it was Radio Caroline. On Monday the 8th of August, BBC Radio Brighton reported that the ship had passed Beachy Head. Later that day, the Ross Revenge anchored in the Kentish Knock. A short early morning test was carried out on Tuesday 9th August.

High Interest
As day dawned on the 9th, the ship upped anchor and sailed to the Knock John Deep. A transmitter test was carried out early on Wednesday morning. Later that day (10th) another test was made lasting from 23.07 to at least 03.00 on the 11th. All tests were on 963khz. By now media interest was high and items had already appeared in many newspapers and also Radio Veronica had carried an interview with Ronan O'Rahilly. On the evening of the 11th a test was made just for about 15 minutes, then one of the main insulators on the deck blew and put the station off the air. The crew were hoping to have come on the air on the 14th, but the start date, was now delayed.

Testing time
Friday the 12th, saw the first tender from Spain arrive, but unfortunately there had not been enough time to pass a message to the Spanish office asking for a new insulator to be brought out. So the station remained silent. Veronica in Holland carried a report on the tests in their 'Pop Journal' programme on the evening of the 12th. Saturday the 13th saw an article in the Daily Mail written by Stewart Payne. Also on this day, Offshore Echos staff flew out over the ship to take photos. August the 14th 1983 arrived, and we understand that a tender came to the ship with a new insulator. A large item appeared in the Sunday Times about the station and also Ronan O'Rahilly. An interview with Andy Archer by Dutch reporter Kas Van Easel was also made, which later appeared on both Veronica and Radio Nederland.

Ross Revenge

Ross Revenge aerial view

Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson

Studio

 

 

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Grimsby Evening Telegraph

The Grimsby Evening Telegraph - 11-8-1983

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