More Nostalgia 1975

February 14, 2011

What happened in 1975? There was an oil crisis. Inflation inflated. Some things never change. On Saturday the 8th of November 1975 the weather couldn’t have been very good either. Radio Caroline’s ship the Mi Amigo broke her anchor chain, and, (most likely un-noticed by DJs/crew) began drifting ending up almost beached on a sandbank. Without any of the modern technology that would be used to get accurate bearings of their position today they were lucky that they managed to start their engine and move into deeper water.

Announcements of their plight began around 6pm on Saturday the 8th November with requests for listeners to call the coastguard. These requests continued for an hour or so until the ship was once again afloat, although still drifting without an anchor. With the DJ Simon Barrett getting more worried as the evening progressed it made for entertaining, if morbid listening. I fully expected that Radio Caroline would finish for good that evening, a mere 3 years after their return to the North Sea. Michael Lloyd began his evening’s programme at 10pm. Shortly afterwards he was interrupted by Peter Chicago who announced that they would have to go off the air as it was suspected that they had drifted within the 3 mile limit and could risk falling foul of the 1967 Marine Offences Act.

Here is a lo -fi recording from the 8th November 1975, beginning and ending with BBC radio news items about the incident.

Radio Caroline didn’t return to the airwaves until the following Thursday 13th of November 1975. Something must have happened on November 14th …..possibly a visit from the Home Office…..as that evening and the following week or so 259m remained silent.

Here is a short recording of Michael Lloyd on Radio Caroline on the 13th of November 1975.

Radio Caroline finally returned to “normal” with regular programmes from the North Sea on the 26th of November 1975. The Mi Amigo would continue to somehow weather further storms and various crisis and Radio Caroline would continue to broadcast if not quite continuously then at least reasonably regularly until March 1980 when the stack of beer cans the ship was precariously balanced on gave way and the ship finally sank.

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One Response to “More Nostalgia 1975”

  1. Dave Roberts Says:

    I love all this offshore radio stuff but I can never get over the fact that many of these guys on the ships went through a lot of discomfort and danger over the years to simply play us some records on the radio!

    I would have been sh*tt*ng hot conkers if I ever had been brave enough to go for it and this had happened. Gotta respect them.

    If you ever get the chance to read a copy of Simon Barrett’s “SOS, 10 days in the life of a lady” you will find out just how dangerous this drifting was. It’s a great read. Very rare book though!


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