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Communicator

Former Name(s)

Tananger (1955)

Charterer (1973)

Gardline Seeker (1976)

Description

Former general cargo vessel

Length

186’ (56.9m)

Tonnage

477 tons (gross)

578 (deadweight)

Built

1955 by Abeking and Rasnussen, Lemwerder/Bremen (Germany) for DSD (Det Stavangerske Dampskipsselskap) Stravanger, Norway

Flag state(s)

Panama

Stations Housed

Laser 730

(19th January - 4th March 1984)

Laser 558

(6th May 1984 - 5th November 1985)

Laser Hot Hits

(1st December 1986 - 20th April 1987)

Also used as a base to transmit licensed stations -

  • Holland FM (October 1994),
  • Hitradio Holland FM (October 1994-March 1995),
  • Hitradio 1224 (March-September 1995),
  • Hitradio Veronica (October 1995-January 1998),
  • Q Radio (January 1998-July 1999),
  • Q-The Beat (September 1999-July 2002)
  • The Super Station (2004)

Ultimate fate

Scrapped in 2007/08

Communicator Communicator as Holland FM

Above: Communicator moored at the specially constructed pier in the Ijsselmeer, Holland, as the base for Holland FM

Communicator leaving Lowestoft Communicator leaving Lowestoft

Above: two views of the Communicator leaving Lowestoft on 21st August 2004, en route for the Orkneys, to be used by the Super Station

Communicator being scrapped Communicator being scrapped Communicator being scrapped

Above and left: three views of the Communicator being scrapped in 2007/08

With Laser Hot Hits off the air from Easter 1987 due to financial and technical problems the Communicator was kept at sea while potential new buyers were found. Plans to use the ship to launch twin stations - Harmony 981 and Starforce 576 - came to nothing.

The Communicator was finally sailed into Harwich on 3rd February 1988, having lost her anchor during a storm. All studio equipment was removed and the ship was declared unseaworthy by the authorities. On 6th February 1988 she was taken to a scrapyard at Shotley on the River Stour, where she was beached.

Then in August 1989 the Communicator was towed to Lisbon, Portugal where she remained for a number of years. In July 1993 she was briefly renamed Albatross, having been sold to Old Court Shipping Corporation of Panama City.

Almost a year later, on 3rd June 1994 she was sold to a (legal) Dutch station, Holland FM to be used as their broadcasting base. The ship was towed from Portugal to IJmuiden in Holland on 11th August 1994 for refurbishment work to be carried out in preparation for her new role.

On 10th October 1994 the Communicator (as she was known again) left IJmuiden and tied up at a specially constructed pier between Enkhuizen and Lelystad in the IJsselmeer, Holland.  Here she became the home of Holland FM, until that station was taken over by Radio Veronica in 1995.

In October 1998 the Communicator was towed to a new position in Pampushaven, near Almere where she became home to Q-Radio.

In 2003 The British based Super Station group acquired the Communicator and she was towed back to IJmuiden in June 2003 for repair works. Six months later, on 19th December 2003 the Communicator was towed to Lowestoft where she was docked while further repairs were undertaken. The Communicator was then towed to St Margaret's Hope, Orkney, and used as the base for the Super Station RSL (Restricted Service Licence) broadcasts between 4th September and 30th November 2004.

She was then sold to local ferry operator and, after several attempts by organisations and companies to purchase her for restoration had fallen through, she was broken up in 2007/08.

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Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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