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Was the name given by Laser 558 the so called all American stationUS flag in the breezeto the government action of 1985 instigated at the insistence of the licensed stations

Designed to starve offshore radio out of operation Eurosiege primarily targeted Laser 558 who was seriously impacting ILR audience figures in London, Kent & Essex

Ironic recognising that a good number of the commercial stations staff & management had begun their careers in pirate radio!

Audio Break

Jonell talking Eurosiege from the deck of the Laser ship MV Communicator, note the RF break through from the Dioptric informing Kent authorities of our presence!

Warning poster to boat owners

It was no secret that both ships anchored in the Knock deep enjoyed sustenance from English shores

Whitstable police station

Consequently, notices were posted around the harbours & on public buildings along the Essex & North Kent coasts warning boat owners to steer clear of supplying the pirates. This is the old Whitstable Police station now residential

Tongue light vessel LV1

En'route to the Knock Deep via Tongue LV1 was the last lightship there in 1985

LV 1 was built in 1946 & served at Tongue until 1956 later being stripped of her accommodation, look-out shelter, deck equipment & her Bower anchors to become automated as shown above

LV1 becomes Mary Mouse 2

Withdrawn from service LV1 was sold in 1993 & converted in Poole were she was renamed "Mary Mouse 2"

Mary Mouse 2 Haslar Gosport

Painted green she's now serves as a restaurant & marina facility at the entrance to the Haslar Marina Gosport

One relief vessel & the last manned at Tongue Sands the LV 13 can be seen on station in Caroline 1983/84

For LV 18 the last manned Trinity House lightship navigate from RNI 1999

Tongue fort in the mid 1980's

Guarding entry to the Thames, Tongue Tower off Margate was abandoned in 1947 by its caretaker crew after parts fell away & mysterious noises were heard coming from the foundations. The fort then took on an alarming 15-degree tilt. In 1966 scavengers from Radio Essex on Knock John fictionally named Tongue the new pirate Radio Albatross when confronted by the Margate lifeboat in 1966 as they burnt insulation to salvage copper cable. Questions were asked in the House of Commons "Yet another Pirate Radio"

Remarkably well preserved & there being no other examples the 3.7 guns were removed by helicopter by RAF Manston In June 1992 & one, along with Knock John's two guns were taken to the Orkney Isles for permanent exhibition on Scapa Flow

Tongue's "A" gun though can still be seen at New Tavern Fort Gravesend

The Tower was to finally collapse & completely disappear into a hole on the right of the deformed leg in a storm during a February night in 1996, with only a portion of the remaining leg remaining visible today

To find out more about the Thames Estuary Forts navigate from Fort Fax

MV Communicator port side full

Prime target the MV Communicator, originally the Yacht U Bootswerft she was built by Aberking & Rasmusseb in Lemwarder in 1955. She was 189' long, had a 30' beam & 10'6" draft. Was 490 tons gross, 219 tons net with a dead weight of 578 tons After work as a charter ship for general cargo, she was converted in 1976 & became the survey vessel Gardline Seeker. Finally she was converted into a radio ship in Florida & renamed the Communicator, throughout her service maintaining a reliable 600 BHP engine

Dioptric Surveyor in Ramsgate

The Department of Trade & Industry chartered vessel the Dioptric Surveyor awaits instructions in Ramsgate Harbour Kent. She was to be placed on station in the Knock Deep to monitor & record the coming's & goings from the radio ships

MV Communicator starboard side

Once at work Laser 558 antagonised the authorities further by taunting the DTI ship on air. Entertaining listening but not useful for self-preservation

Bob Le-Roi & Susan Charles Jonell

With Susan Charles on Caroline & Laser's Jonell with Ross Revenge in the background

Ross Revenge port side

Built as a side trawler in 1960 by A G Weser at Werk Seebeck in Bremerhaven. She's 221'8" long, 34' in beam, with a draft of 16'9" that increased to 18' after being ice strengthened in 1963 when she became the Freyr. She's 978 tons gross, 428 tons net & is fitted with a 2050 BHP engine

Following service in the Cod Wars she was used as a motor salvage ship in 1979 before conversion in Spain to a radio ship in 1982. She was to be called the Imagine after the John Lennon song but instead reverted to the name Ross Revenge

Last home of Radio Caroline she never acknowledge the presence of the DTI survey vessel until the Communicator up anchored & sailed into port under her own power

Radio Monique sticker
Audio: Eurosiege views from Susan Charles on deck & a Monique man swimming alongside the ship here or from the Ross revenge picture above

Audio Break

Eurosiege views from Susan Charles from the deck of the Ross Revenge

Dioptric Surveyor in Knock Deep

The Dioptric Surveyor unaware of our presence displaying her anchor ball

Masked station staff under 300 mast

Dutch & the more cautious masked English DJ's on the Ross Revenge port side beneath the original 300 foot radio mast

Dioptric Surveyor steaming

The Dioptric Surveyor steams into sight & despite repeated radio requests the only traffic we received was "keep clear or we'll damage you"

Andy Johnston (Cosmic)

Andy Johnstone just being Cosmic

Dioptric filming us

The Dioptric film & record the goings on around the ships

Peter Chicago swimming

Peter Chicago makes their picture, strips & dives in to make clean breast of things

Charlie Wolf & Craig Novac

Meanwhile, Charlie Wolf & Craig Novac consider their future in Laser's production studio

MV Communicator stern view

The MV Communicator shortly before throwing in the towel & sailing under her own steam into Harwich. Co-incidentally escorted by her sister ship the Gardline Tracker also on charter to the DTI

Dioptric on Stour Harwich

The Dioptric Surveyor deed done moored on the Stour about half mile downstream from the Communicator

MV Communicator off Erwarton

The MV Communicator lying off Ness Farm Erwarton Village upstream from Parkstone Quay Harwich Essex

Eurosiege 1985 did put Laser out of business, that is until she sailed out under the noses of the authorities as Laser Hot Hits - But that's another story for another time

Ross Revenge silhouette

Left in peace again a silhouette of Ross Revenge was to move to South Falls Head & continue until 1990 before finding herself on the Goodwin Sands. Salvaged, the Sea Act has since ensured the ship remains within the confines of British waters

The debate, arguments, & wranglings continue about both the future of the ship & radio station as overall fairly poor quality programmes are broadcast from land

Short of the odd glitch, for example when The Firms "Star Trecking" made the playlist! Caroline will never again be what she was in the formidable years 1964 - 1987

Thanks for the always, fascinating stuff. Interesting to see the "other side" of Eurosiege...I was living in Harwich back then, and listening to way too much of Laser / Caroline's output. I guess from the luxury of a house on terra firma, what the guys out there didn't seem quite as bad! Maybe you can blame that on Charlie Wold founding totally unaffected. Ahhhh, happy days. Hope you're enjoying Malta! Shaun

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[HOME] (c)Bob Le-Roi 2002