Laatste uitzenddag Radio Caroline

op . Gepost in Caroline Archief

Ross Revenge 1990Op 5 november 1990 sloot Neil Gates de uitzendingen van Radio Caroline af met de vermelding "Caroline will be back at 6 a.m.". Maar Radio Caroline kwam niet terug en het programma van Neil Gates bleek later het laatste te zijn van Caroline als zeezender. Paul de Haan probeert nu in het "Pirate Free Radio Forum" en het "Offshore Radio Forum" duidelijkheid te krijgen over de niet aangekondigde sluiting van Radio Caroline destijds. Radio Caroline DJ Neil Gates reageerde op de vragen van Paul de Haan.

Paul de Haan 4-11-11:
Its 21 years ago today Caroline made its final broadcast as a true offshore marine broadcaster from international waters of the North Sea. The final hour was from Neil Gates who made mention of the fact Caroline would be back early morning 6 am. We all know there was not going to be a brand new day for Caroline the following morning. What happened that night? Who decided suddenly that the station wouldn't return the following day. Not enough diesel? If so they knew that was the case and could have mentioned their close down not to reappear again. This is my scenario: onboard Ross Revenge they knew they would stay of air and not be back as a true offshore station. But in a true Caroline tradition you will not close the station down, that has never happened before. Caroline was always forced to close down. Is my scenario correct? Who can tell?

Reactie Multimax 4-11-11:
The diesel did indeed run out I'm afraid. There was enough to keep the ship lit for a few nights but not enough to go on air for more than a short while. The transmitter was damaged a few days later as it was switched back on without a proper warm up cycle, so it stayed off air. There was several tons of diesel waiting to be delivered to the ship on a tender on the Medway which was never sent out while the ship remained at sea.

Paul de Haan 4-11-11:
So, thats new to me, they tried to start the transmitter to go on air again without the proper warming up proces after Nov 5 1990. Why did they start up without proper warming up? Who did it? They knew the procedure to start the transmitter in the proper way. Questions and more questions. Was everyone onboard on the same level at that time on the subjest of closing down or to continue? You will not find answers to these questions in the Harris or Conway book. Conway was not onboard in Nov 1990.

Reactie Multimax 4-11-11:
Sorry Paul, just noticed your question about the transmitter. There was a shore side event, I think the following weekend and a crew member decided it would be nice to be on air at the time albeit briefly. Following the raid, various safety interlocks were bypassed in order to make the transmitter work so it was possible to switch on plate voltage without a warm up. 

Reactie Tom Clarke 4-11-11:
The transmitter fault is a new one on me. So far as I know, Chicago had set it so all you had to do was throw a single switch, which switched it all on, warm up cycle and all, as if he or Bradgate wasn't there, one of the djs could switch it on.

Reactie Multimax 4-11-11:
I can add that the people on the ship had no intention of quietly disappearing. They were determined to go back on the air one way or another. 

Reactie Neil Gates 4-11-11:
Yes the account of events in Multimax's posts in this thread are 100 per cent acurate. You may wish to listen to Cruisin'531 from 7.30 this evening!

Reactie Neil Gates 6-11-11:
When I closed the station down at 1am on 5th Novemeber I fully expected Rico to re-open at 6am.
After comming off air that night I left the carrier on and went to join Alex Rodgers in the messroom where he was watching horror videos and after about an hour I went to bed leaving Alex to continue watching his video. When I got up out of bed at about 10am I was suprised to find the station off air, the carrier still on, and Rico in bed. I went and asked Rico why we were off the air and he told me that when he went to pump diesel from the main tanks into the day tank in the engine room no diesel flowed, there was none left apart from the small amount in the day tank. After making this discovery and realising that we would be out of fuel very soon he thought to hell with it and went back to bed.
Offshore Echoes are mistaken about the transmitter being switched on for 2.5 hours the carrier was on all the time. I switched it off at sometime just after 10am after my conversation with Rico. I then turned off the generator to conserve the small amount of fuel left on board for the comming hours of darkness and sat and waited for the phone call from land asking why we were off the air. It did not come and infact we were still waiting for contact from land when we decided to go back on the air for a short time on the Friday evening at the time the Thanet branch of the Caroline movement were due to hold a firework event in Broadstairs. We were becoming quite desperate by this stage as we only had enough fuel to keep the ship lit for one more night. We were going to use the broadcast to ask those onland directly why we had heared absolutly nothing from them in the days since we ceased broadcasting and what they were going to do about the situation as we didn't have so much as a working torch. Rico turned the tx on to warm up. Unfortunatly when he flicked the plate supply switch off it went with a ban.

Bron: Paul de Haan op Offshore Radio Forum / Pirate Free Radio Forum

Foto: Ross Revenge in 1990 (Archief: Bob LeRoi)