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Radio Caroline 1980s - Key Dates

Many rumours appeared about the return of Radio Caroline shortly after the former radio ship, Mi Amigo, sank in March 1980, but all proved to be unfounded.


19th April 1981 (Easter Sunday)

Rumours and press reports about a planned return for Radio Caroline quoted an Easter Sunday opening, but the date came and went without Radio Caroline returning to the airwaves. Further rumoured dates in 1981 also proved unfounded, however Radio Caroline did purchase its new vessel – Ross Revenge during 1981.

September 1981

The transmitters, en route from America, were impounded by Dutch Customs authorities.

December 1981

The transmitters were released by the Dutch authorities and transported in great secrecy to the Spanish port where the new Radio Caroline ship was being fitted out.


Throughout 1982  legal arguments over the ownership of the Ross Revenge and searching for new sources of finance caused delays in re-launching Radio Caroline.

  • A breakaway group proposed taking control of the Ross Revenge, with plans to finish the conversion work and have the station on air in June 1982.
  • The Ross Revenge was impounded by Spanish harbour authorities and the steering gear dismantled. A violent attempt was made by a rival group to take over the ship in Spain, but this failed.
  • The Ross Revenge then became the subject of what was to be protracted legal action between the consortium of American backers and Ronan O'Rahilly's group.


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