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Mi Amigo

Former Name(s)

SS Margarethe


Bon Jour

Magda Maria


Three masted schooner (as Margarethe)

Cargo vessel (as Olga)


Originally 98’ (29.8m) lengthened to 111’ (33.8m) in 1927 and 133’ (40.5m) in 1951


470 tons


1921 by Deutsche Werke A.G. of Kiel, West Germany (lengthened 1927 and 1951)

Flag state(s)

Nicaragua and Panama (Radio Nord)

Panama (Radio Atlanta and Radio Caroline)

Stations Housed

As Bon Jour/Magda Maria

Radio Nord

(21st February 1961 - 30th June 1962)

As Mi Amigo

Radio Atlanta

(9th May - 2nd July 1964)

Radio Caroline South

(3rd July 1964 - 3rd March 1968)

Radio 199

(18th - 21st December 1972)

Radio Caroline

22nd December 1972 - 19th March 1980)

Radio Veronica

(11th - 20th April 1973)

Radio Atlantis

(15th July - 18th October 1973)

Radio Seagull

(24th July - 18th October 1973  and 7th January - 22nd February 1974)

Radio Mi Amigo

(28th December 1973 - 20th October 1978)

Ultimate fate

Sank 20th March 1980

Known as Bon Jour and Magda Maria during her days as home to Radio Nord

Bon Jour

Above: As the Mi Amigo, broadcasting programmes of Radio Caroline South

Below: As the Bon Jour, broadcasting programmes of Radio Nord ,1962

Mi Amigo Mi Amigo aground 1966 Mi Amigo aground 1966 Mi Amigo aground 1966

Above and left: three views of the Mi Amigo after running aground on Frinton beach, January 1966

Mi Amigo in Amsterdam Mi Amigo in Amsterdam

Above: Mi Amigo in Amsterdam, after being towed in from the high seas by the tender company, 1968

Mi Amigo undergoing refit 1966 Mi Amigo undergoing refit 1966

Left: two views of the Mi Amigo undergoing a refit in Zaandam, February 1966

as Olga Mi Amigo in Greenore

Above: as the Olga, before her refit

Below: the Mi Amigo in Greenore being fitted out for her new role as home to Radio Atlanta, 1964

Mi Amigo off England 1974 Mi Amigo off Holland 1973 Mi Amigo end of 1970s

Three views of the Mi Amigo in the 1970s

Above left: off Holland in 1973 with a new mast

Above right: off the English coast again, 1974

Left: showing signs of years at  sea towards the end of the 1970s

mast of sunken Mi Amigo 1980 Mast of sunken Mi Amigo 1986 Trinity House buoy marking wreck of Mi Amigo

Far left: all that was visible of the Mi Amigo after she sank, 1980

Left: the mast still visible in July 1986

Above: a Trinity House buoy marks the site of the Mi Amigo wreck

Sonar image of Mi Amigo wreck

Above: a sonar image of the Mi Amigo wreck

Photo: Port of London Authority

The SS Margarethe was built in 1921 three mast schooner for Ernst Simon A.G. She was one of three identical ships - one was used as a tug in South America while the third was used in the Far East. Ernst Simon sailed the Margarethe around the Baltic carrying general cargo.

In 1927 the SS Margarethe was sold to Heinrich Kopplemann who renamed the boat Olga after his wife. In 1928 the Olga was strengthened and a four cylinder engine installed, in the process one of the masts was replaced.

In 1936 the original engine was replaced with a six cylinder engine and the length of the boat was increased to 111 feet (3.8m) by adding a new centre section.

From June 5th 1941 the Olga was commandeered by the German Kriegsmarine - the landing craft squadron trials unit based at Emden. The Olga operated out of Putlos, near Kiel as an auxiliary vessel.

On 18th November 1943 the Olga's war service ended and the boat was refitted out by Kriegsmarine and in 1944 the Olga was returned to the Kopplemanns. Heinrich Kopplemann had died during the Second World War, but his wife had taken over the business with her son. In 1951 the length of the Olga was increased to 133 feet 9 inches (40,5m).

In 1959 the MS Olga was located in Kiel, West Germany and was considered suitable for conversion into a radio ship. On 31st May 1960 MS Olga was taken to Norder Werft in Hamburg, West Germany to be fitted out for use by Radio Nord.


See Bon Jour and Magda Maria for details of this ship’s home to  Radio Nord between 1961 and 1962

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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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