The Use Of Radio
The Sunday Times of 1st July 1989 quoted from a report "The Use of Radio" commissioned by the Independent Broadcasting Authority and carried out by the British Market Research Bureau on a sample of 1010 people. They found that the average number of radios in each house was 3.76, meaning there are more radios than people. They also found that BBC Radio 1 was the most popular station with 49% of the population claiming to listen. The table then runs Independent local radio - 41%, Radio 2 - 41%, Radio 4 - 25%, BBC local - 21%, BBC regional -10%, Radio 3 - 9%, Luxembourg - 5%, BBC World service - 4%, Foreign - 2%, RADIO CAROLINE - 1% and inland pirates - 1%. Despite the apparent variety of interest, more than two thirds of listeners tend to stay with one station almost all the time.

The Landward
It became obvious that something was wrong on Friday morning 18th August 1989, Chris Kennedy played the records "I'm free", "I can see for miles", "With a little help from my friends" and "Imagine". He later said "as always the message is in the music" and then played "Lady in Red". The 1300 news read by Dave Asher said "the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge anchored in the international waters of the North sea was approached at 0915 this morning by a vessel from Britain and the crew identified themselves as officials of the Department of Trade and Industry, also onboard was a representative of the Dutch radio authorities. They stated that international action was being taken to silence the broadcasts emanating from the Ross Revenge. Permission to board the radio ship for discussions on the future of the ship and its crew was refused by the Captain." The British vessel Landward, a customs cutter of about 50 foot length, stayed close to the Ross Revenge all day, before heading back to port during the evening.

The Volans
The Landward returned the next morning, Saturday 19th August 1989. Radio Caroline had programmed on 558 throughout the night and when the 819 Overnight Alternative closed at 0400, the Dutch language Radio 819 returned, the shortwave 6215khz stayed off the air. Things seem almost normal and it was not until just after midday that anything untoward started to happen. At around 1240, station engineer Peter Chicago announced "This is a special announcement from the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge. At the moment we have a large Dutch tug, the Volans, whose intentions are not clear but they seem to have the intention of taking this ship from the high seas. I am speaking on behalf of the crew and the broadcasters of the vessel Ross Revenge. We've had previous warnings earlier on that some kind of action was contemplated. At the moment on our starboard side, we have the Dutch tug, the Volans, which seems to have the intention of taking this ship, the Ross Revenge from her mooring in the international waters of the South Falls Head."

Back Mast

Erecting back mast

Ross Revenge

DTI Vessel

DTI Vessel

Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy


The Volans

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Complete Radio Caroline and
Radio 819 News as published
in OEM 77


Ross Revenge May 1989

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