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C A R O L I N E the 1970's - Part 1

A rolling series dedicated to the good lady saved from the ship breakers yard on 29th May 1972

With many never before published original photographs

Gerrard Van Dam

Gerrard van Dam of the Dutch Free Radio Organisation who'd negotiated with Hofman Shipping Agency, the Company that had secured the Mi-Amigo for a stated 20,000 Guilders; £2,400

The cover story was that the ship would be fitted as a Pirate Radio Museum & would head for England. But on the 3rd September 1972 she slipped away to drop anchor off Scheveningen, testing began the next day on 253 Metres, 1187 kHz

Chris Cary, Gerrard Van Dam, & Ronan O'Rahilly

Euphoric group Chris Cary, Gerrard van Dam, & Ronan O'Rahilly on the Mi-Amigo after the public auction

N.B. The MV Fredericia was sold at the same auction Bought by a ship breaker her fate was sealed

Erratic tests continued through October & November, until the ship broke her mooring & lost her Antenna in gale force 11 winds in the early hours of 13th November

A makeshift Antenna was erected & with no Station or DJ identification tests continued on 17th December now on 197 metres, 1520 kHz

The next day the station now calling itself Radio 199 made further test programmes until finally announcing as Radio Caroline on 22nd December

Mi-Amigo at night off Holland

The Mi-Amigo off Holland

On 28th December 1972 the ships crew sabotaged the vessel then deserted over unpaid wages, only to return. A scuffle broke out on deck before an uneasy peace was reached

Things came to a head with the Mi-Amigo's anchor being cut & the ship towed into Ijmuiden by a disgruntled Captain van der Kamp

Once in port the Dutch Postal Officials boarded & showed an unhealthy interest in the transmitter, but since it was by now incomplete weren't able to seize the ship

Mi-Amigo in Amsterdam

The Trip Tender Company paid all dues & the Mi-Amigo was towed to Amsterdam

Haarlem District Court granted an injunction in favour of Captain van der Kamp & crew over unpaid salaries

Dutch Shipping Inspectorate

Inspected by the Dutch Shipping Inspectorate the Scheepvaartinspectie, the unregistered ship was declared a wreck & impounded

Crispian St John, Rob Eden & Chief Engineer Peter Chicago above discuss matters with the Inspectorates representative

Dutch Shipping Inspectorate

Lengthy & protracted discussions continued

Mi-Amigo in Amsterdam

Over the future of the Mi-Amigo

Dutch Shipping Inspectorate

The Mi-Amigo could only leave Amsterdam Port once major work had been completed & approved

Anchor Chain on Quay

Heavy anchor chain

Anchor Chain on Quay

Being craned from the quay side

Anchor Chain lifted by Crane

Bound for the Mi-Amigo

Anchor Chain lifted by Crane

Shipped out to sea by the Dolfijn

Chris Cary, Kate & Daughter

Chris Cary very much a Caroline mover & shaker with then wife Kate & daughter

Gerrard Van Dam

Gerrard van Dam in the office counting his Guilders

Dutch Shipping Inspectorate Tour

A final walk round deck

Dutch Shipping Inspectorate depart

At last Dutch Shipping Inspectorate the Scheepvaartinspectie are satisfied & leave with a final wave to Tony Allan

Ronan O'Rahilly

Time to make the Press Calls we're coming back

This feature will continue in Caroline the 1970's - Part 2 as the Mi-Amigo is towed back to sea

Grateful thanks to Photo Journalist Martin Stevens for his considerable help in producing this series

For all the Radio Caroline features navigate from Caroline Days Days

For a range of related documentary CD's the Sealand Grand Tour VCD, books & a video go to Offshore Shop


[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2005