CAROLINE     STATEMENT

Caroline Statement
At noon on Sunday 20th August 1989, Radio Caroline's directors issued a press statement saying that.... Yesterday a joint action was taken by Dutch and British authorities against the MV Ross Revenge, in the International waters of the North sea. The radio ship was boarded by force, by 30 armed Dutch and British Department of Trade and Industry officials. Two crew members were beaten up during the boarding and the crew members and radio staff including two young women disc jockeys were manhandled and threatened. In a statement the Canadian directors of Radio Caroline said that they were "shocked and horrified at this act of piracy". They said that having taken urgent legal advice, they would be bringing charges of piracy, assault and criminal damage, against the authorities, and against the individuals concerned. Shortly after the news of the violence on board the Ross Revenge, the British Department of Trade and Industry issued a statement claiming that no British officials were involved in the boarding, and that UK officials were in another vessel keeping surveillance. Journalists who went to the scene yesterday, spoke to a DTI official who identified himself as a Mr. Jim Murphy. He identified himself whilst he was actually aboard the Ross Revenge and was interrogating the crew. Photographs were also taken and are available. The Dutch raiders, all of who carried firearms, entered a frenzy of destruction, smashing anything with sledgehammers anything which they could not easily remove. They were also drinking heavily and left behind a large number of bottles, which have now been removed from the ship. The Radio Caroline legal advisers are having these bottles tested for fingerprints, for use on the forthcoming legal actions to be taken against both the Dutch and British authorities and against the individuals involved. It is expected that on Tuesday, the first notices of action will be served. Both the Dutch and British authorities have denied any use of violence, which is contradicted by a report from the doctor who was immediately sent out to tend the injured crew. Photographic and video evidence exists of the wholesale damage created during the raid, despite official Dutch and British statements to the contrary. A Radio Caroline spokesman said "it seems that this whole episode got out of control at an early stage and the raiding parties went beserk. We are particularly shocked at the fact that the armed officials were heavily drinking". "It seems that both the British and Dutch governments are now involved in a deniability exercise." A journalist managed to contact the Ross Revenge whilst the raid was going on. When he asked the Dutch official that answered the radio, about British denials of involvement, heavily reported in yesterdays news coverage, the Dutch official said "How can that be, they are here on the boat now". The journalist then asked to speak to one of the British crew of the radio ship. The Dutch official initially claimed no knowledge of the whereabouts of the crew, until it was pointed out that he was on board the ship and must know. After some argument, a crew member was allowed to the radio. He confirmed that the raiders had caused extensive damage to the ship and to the radio equipment, and had only stopped smashing the generators with sledgehammers when they were warned that they would be endangering the lives of the crew and other mariners if the ship was left without electrical supplies. One generator was thoroughly smashed however. The crew member also confirmed that violence had been used during the boarding and the radio link was then abruptly cut off.

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