Thursday, November 05, 2015

Radio Ship On Fire!



In 1971 Radio North Sea (aka Radio Nordsee International) was fire bombed. Because the pirate station operated from a ship as sea,the Mebo II, they were immediately in danger of having to abandon ship. The first started in the engine room and eventually reached the bridge. Then due to fire damage they lost their ship-to-shore communication. DJ Alan West continued to broadcast a mayday call SOS for about five minutes giving out their location repeatedly before finally abandoning ship.


RNI began broadcasting in January of 1970. By mid-April the Labour government in Britain began jamming Mebo II's MW signal. In May, RNI changed frequencies to the MW channel to 1230 kHz and the Labour government began jamming that frequency 5 days later as well. RNI responded by  broadcasting a pro-Conservative political messages for the general election in June of 1970.

Inexplicably the bomber turned out to be Norbert Jurgens, the advertising manager at Radio Veronica, another pirate radio station and not any agent of the Labour government. However, RNI was able to resume broadcasting the following morning, and carried out it's own repairs at sea without interruption.  Unfortunately the bombing incident was exploited by the Dutch to outlaw the supply from the Dutch mainland of offshore radio stations on the high seas. This went into effect in September of 1974. RNI signed off for the last time on August 31st.