On 19th January 1966 the Essex coast was experiencing bad weather with a Force 8 gale and driving snow. At 9.00pm that evening Walton-
Attempts by the coastguard and North Foreland Radio, using emergency channels and even flashing lamps, to warn the Mi Amigo that she was adrift were unsuccessful. Radio Caroline's agent in Harwich, Percy Scadden, also tried to alert the crew by flashing his car headlights at the radio ship, again without success. The regional television station, Anglia Television, was also asked to broadcast a warning message to the crew of the radio ship and, although the message was flashed on television screens during the evening's programmes, it is uncertain how successful this action was as the crew were watching programmes on another channel that night.
At around midnight the Mi Amigo ran aground at Holland Haven, Frinton-
In freezing temperatures and heavy seas it was another hour before 25 members of the Coastguard Service, together with auxiliaries from the Walton Life-
When daylight broke on 20th January 1966 it became apparent just how fortunate the Mi Amigo had been -
During the afternoon the Dutch salvage tug Titan arrived and took up position some 500 yards offshore and on the midnight high tide numerous attempts were made to drag the stricken vessel off the beach. However, the re-
By the time of the next high tide the Captain of the Mi Amigo had decided to try and free the vessel himself by attaching the Mi Amigo's anchor to a long cable and taking this out into deep water where it was dropped until it held on the sea-
Once free of Frinton Beach the Captain anchored the Mi Amigo about a mile offshore while divers inspected her hull. Some minor damage had been sustained by the radio ship and it was decided that before returning to her anchorage she should be taken to Holland for permanent repairs to be undertaken. The Mi Amigo sailed under her own power, but accompanied by the tug Titan, for Holland, arriving in Zaandam on 23rd January 1966 where she was dry docked.
Mi Amigo aground at Frinton-
Mi Amigo undergoing repair in Zaandam, February 1966
Click on picture to enlarge
Caroline South DJs being rescued from the Mi Amigo by Breeches Buoy.
20th January 1966
Ship and Location