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Former Name(s)

LV3 (Light Vessel 3)


Former British lightship


137’ (41.9m)


523.8 tons


1949 by Phillips, Dartmouth, Devon, England

Flag state(s)


Stations Housed

Arutz 2000

(28th August 1996 - 22nd February 1997)

Ultimate fate

Ran aground on Tel Baruch beach, 5th January 2000.

Towed out to sea by the Israeli authorities where she was sunk  on 28th August 2000.

King David (LV3)

King David (LV3) King David (LV3) aground King David (LV3) aground

Above: three views of the King David  after she had run aground, January 2000

   (photos Martin van der Ven, Hans Knot, Yiftack Ko, Mike Brand)

The Trinity House vessel, LV3,  was used as a lightship off the English coast stationed at Channel, Outer Gabbard and Kentish Knock.

In 1994 LV3 was purchased by a ship broker and then sold to Dutch agents.She was taken to Whale Island, Portsmouth, in April 1995 and for six weeks, some conversion work was carried out by Worldwide Broadcast Consultants.

The ship was briefly moved to Southampton to have the aerial mast erected, but this  did not happen because work on the lightship ceased due to rumours that the owners had run out of money.

In January 1996 the British authorities raided the ship but could not get inside because the ship which had been made very secure by welding up the portholes etc, ready for the long tow to Israel  so they just confiscated the mast, which was lying on deck, and left the all the transmitters on board.

Shortly after the raid, the ship and Lithuanian crew was towed out to sea by the tug Tamar, heading towards Israel. On 30th January the King David and the tug Tamar arrived in Lisbon, to undertake some repair work.

In May 1996 the King David arrived off the coast of Ashdod. Broadcasts from Arutz 2000 began a few months later.


Arutz 2000 ceased broadcasts from its offshore base in February 1997, but the King David remained at anchor off the coast of Tel Aviv. Almost three years later, on 5th January 2000, she ran aground on Tel Baruch beach .

The wreck became a public hazard and on 28th August 2000 she was towed out to sea by the Israeli authorities where she was sunk.


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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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Photo: Mike Brand