Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Offshore websites: Radio Caroline-the station that goes on forever

To be published in my Feb 2013 Radio Websites column in Radio User, PWP

Martin Richards in Wiltshire asks for information on two offshore radio ships. Always a popular subject he wants to know if the MV Communicator of Laser 558 still remains and whether it still broadcasts, whether the Peace Ship still exists and what became of Radio Caroline’s channel on Sky. 

There are dozens of websites dedicated to all aspects of the offshore radio era and it is a case of honing in on the most relevant information before you get swamped or distracted in your research.

Starting with the MV Communicator, the Offshore Radio Guide (Your watery wireless website) at http://www.offshore-radio.de gives a comprehensive chronological overview as far as 2002. The ship was built in West Germany in 1954 and went on to give service for many radio stations including Laser 730 and Laser 558, Laser Hot Hits 576, The Super Station (in 2004) and Radio Sunk (in 1987). A whole host of Dutch stations also broadcast from the ship from 1994 to 2002. 

I must say I really enjoyed Laser 558's broadcasts while living in the south-east of England circa 1984. Happy memories.

We then need to turn to The Orkney Communities website at www.orkneycommunities.co.uk and in particular the page at the Image Library www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/imagelibrary/picture/number1710.asp which shows the ship moored in the Orkneys in the middle of the last decade. The ship came to the end of an illustrious existence when it was broken up around six years ago.

Turning to Radio Caroline it’s suffice to say that it is available online as a station and on smartphones as an app and online in several places including www.yourock.fm It left Sky in 2011 after failing to renegotiate costs. Radio Caroline’s website carries fuller information at www.radiocaroline.co.uk

The final question from Martin is over The Voice of Peace which was broadcast for 20 years from the MV Peace off of Tel Aviv, with the late Abie Nathan the man behind much of the venture. In 1993 he intentionally sunk the ship after various promises of a broadcast license and mooring failed to come to fruition, 

More at Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Peace and a current website including live audio www.thevoiceofpeace.co.il/

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