Some frequently asked questions.....
Is the Ross Revenge the original Radio Caroline ship?No. The Ross Revenge started her broadcasting career in August 1983 and was out at sea until November 1991. The original Radio Caroline ship was formerly called the Fredericia and she broadcast from 28th March 1964 until 3rd March 1968. In July of 1964 Caroline merged with a rival station, Radio Atlanta. Radio Atlanta's ship the Mi Amigo stayed in the Thames and became Radio Caroline South whilst the Fredericia sailed to the Isle of Man and became Radio Caroline North.
Is the Ross Revenge the Caroline ship which sank?No. The Mi Amigo sank at sea in a storm in March 1980 after a 16 year career as Radio Caroline and Atlanta. Prior to that, the ship had been used by Radio Nord in Sweden.
Is Radio Caroline still broadcasting, and on what frequency?Yes. Caroline Continues. Nowadays you can hear her on the internet including mobile phones.
See the official Radio Caroline website for further details. Since "coming ashore" in 1991 the station has utilised a number of technological advances to broadcast, including many which were cutting edge and ahead of their time. Early trial satellite broadcasts in 1991 were followed by full time stallite from 1999, a move to digital satellite in 2002, and a move to the Sky Digital platform. From 2001 -2008 she broadcast on the portable "Worldspace" satelite system covering Europe, Afrioca and the middle East on a handheld receiver. Experimental broadcasts were carried on DAB as long ago as 1998, and the first internet broadcasts took place in 2000. Various shorterm UK transmission have takenn place on both Am and FM, and international worldwide shortwave facilities have been made available at for special occasions.
Who maintains/operates the Ross Revenge?The Ross Revenge is maintained by a volunteer engineering crew who aim to repair and preserve the ship to her former glory. All work is financed by members of the Radio Caroline Support group, merchandise sold through Radio Caroline Sales, guided tours and voluntary donations. None of the crew members receive any financial reward for their efforts - our reward comes from seeing happy smiling faces coming to visit the ship!
Is the Ross Revenge open to the public?Yes - we try and hold public open days as often as possible. However, during the summer of 2005 she was moored into a private berth at Tilbury Docks in Essex to which there is no public access. Whilst there, the volunteer crew are continuing their hard work and we hope to have her at an accessible location as soon as possible.
Where is the Ross Revenge moored?As of August 2014 she is moored on the River Blackwater in North Essex, close to Bradwell on Sea, where we hope to be able to open to the public in due course. From 2005-2014 she was in a private berth at Tilbury Docks, but since 1991 has visited many Thames area ports such as Dover, Clacton, Southend, Sheerness, Chatham, Rochester and London Docklands. Technically she is still subject to a detention order by the Deprtment of Trade and Industry and movement is restricted to the Thames area.
Where can I read about the history of Radio Caroline and her ships?A comprehensive history section is available on the official Radio Caroline website.
What was the Ross Revenge before she became Radio Caroline?The Ross Revenge was built in 1960 in Germany as the worlds largest side-trawler and was christened Fryer by her original Icelandic owners. After just a few short years she was sold to Ross Fisheries in Grimsby who renamed her Ross Revenge. She was de-commissioned from trawling in the mid 1970's and for a few years was used a salvage ship and tug prior to acquisition by the Radio Caroline organisation in 1982.
What kind of career did she have as a trawler?She had a very successful career and frequently set and broke world records for fish hauls. She was operated in Icelandic, Northern Atlantic and Baerents sea areas. She has strengthened ice-breaking bows, and was often regarded as the mother ship of the UK's long range fishing fleet. She was frequently involved in skirmishes with Icelandic navy boats during the early 1970's "Cod Wars" with Iceland. She was shot at and chased by the Icelandic navy who attempted to pursue her for fishing within Icelands self-proclaimed 200 mile exclusion zone.
What is the current status of the Ross Revenge?She is currently classified as a "hulk" which means she is exempt from many regulations pertaining to what would otherwise be a de-commissioned trawler. However, being a hulk means that she is not regarded as being seaworthy and must be towed between approved mooring locations.
Is she capable of operating under her own power?No. The steering gear was severely damaged when she ran aground on the Goodwin Sands at the end of her broadcasting career. Also, due to general neglect and lack of use much of her machinary is in poor condition. However, one of the primary aims of the support group is to restore her to working order. When that is accomplished she will be capable of moving under her own power, and for instance, could visit coastal resorts around the UK as a tourist attraction.
Do the current programmes of Radio Caroline broadcast from the Ross Revenge?The programmes normally broadcast from rented accomodation in a Tland based studio facility. This is far more economical than crewing the ship continuously. However for special occasions and sometimes during public open weekends, programmes come from the ships studios.
Does the Ross Revenge still have all its studio and broadcasting equipment on board?Yes. The studios are maintained in full working order, and although the transmitter systems are still onboard they cannot be made operational as this would be in contradiction to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 and the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act 1967! The generators are used to provide power for the crew when they are onboard.
This website doesn't seem to have any jingles or air-checks to download or pictures of the DJ's.Correct. This is rossrevenge.co.uk, all about the Ross Revenge. There are a myriad of websites dedicated to offshore radio and Radio Caroline, but no others with hard facts about the fabric of the ships from which broadcasts were made. We hope you enjoy reading what we've assembled here.
What are the future plans for the Ross Revenge?There are no hard and fast plans. However, we all know that if efforts are not made now to preserve and restore her, she will deteriorate to a stage where repairs are very difficult and expensive. Who knows what will happen in the future and what technologies will become available? When the last broadcast on medium wave went out from the Ross Revenge from the South Falls Head in November 1990, who could have imagined that Caroline would become a worldwide, 24 hour 7 day station available to a third of the worlds surface on handheld satellite radio receivers? We must not make rash decisions now that we may regret in years to come. Perhaps we would all like to see the Ross Revenge at a permamnent quayside mooring, broadcasting as Radio Caroline by whatever media is available in the future. In the summer months she could unplug herself from the quayside and sail to various seaside tourist locations, broadcasting around the world as she goes.
How can I help?The best help we can have is for as many people as possible to join the Radio Caroline Support group - this gives a dependable regular financial income to keep the ship and station afloat. Funds from merchandise sales from Radio Caroline Sales all go directly to help the ship. Alterniatively you may make a cash donation to either of these organisations and ask for it to be used for the Ross Revenge. Click the "links" or "feedback form" buttons at the top of this page for further details. Although we have a skilled and professional engneering team we are always interested if you have a particular skill which could be put to good use on a ship. From time to time we ask for "painting teams" when we have some major painting to be done - announcements for painting teams usually go out on air during the programmes of Radio Caroline.
I have some equipment or materials which I would like to donate to the Ross Revenge....Yes please. There are many materials we are always on the look out for, such as paint of all colours, paint brushes, pipe fittings, welding rods, good quality electrical fittings, 240 volt light bulbs, lightweight pumps, PVC and rubber hose, etc, etc. Even mundane things such as floor brushes and bin bags! Please use the feedback form to contact us in the first instance. We can usually arrange collection from around the UK for larger or heavy items. We are not interested in substandard junk or rubbish that you may want to get rid of - we have plenty of that of our own!
Press - Media ContactBona fide Press and Media enquries should contact our London office on 0208 340 3831 or email on caroline_pirate[at]btconnect.com Alternatively you can use our feedback page, but this may take a day or so to work through the system.
I would like to hire the Ross Revenge as a venue....Sorry, but for numerous reasons we are unable to offer the Ross Revenge as a commercial venue for events. Perhaps this will change as part of long term plans. However we may be able to accomodate small private limited events onboard - please contact the London office as above or use our feedback page. The ship is available for film, media, documentary events - whether connected with offshore radio and music or totally unrelated - maybe you just need pictures of an old engine room for example - again please contact us to discuss further.