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Ross Revenge

Former Name(s)

Freyer (1960-1964)

(Known as trawler RE1)

Re-named Ross Revenge in 1964  (known as Grimsby trawler GY 718)


Ex Icelandic trawler, salvage vessel


233’ (71m)


963 tons


1960 by AG Weser Werk, Seebeck, Bremerhaven, Germany

Flag state(s)

Panama, but stateless from 1987

Stations Housed

Radio Caroline

(9th August 1983 - 6th November 1990)

Radio Monique

(16th December 1984 - 24th November 1989)

Radio 819

(30th May - 7th June 1988)

Radio 558

(30th May - 7th June 1988 and 5th November 1988 - 19th August 1989)

World Mission Radio

(6th March 1988 - 18th August 1989)

Ultimate fate

After being fully renovated by volunteers, she is now moored in the River Blackwater, Essex and used occasionally for live broadcasts

Until 1964 the Freyer was owned by Isbjorninn, an Icelandic fishing company when she was sold to Ross Trawlers Ltd and re-named Ross Revenge. From 1979 to 1981 she served as a diving support ship in the North Sea. She was then taken to the Cairnryan breakers' yard in Rosyth, Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway on the west coast of Scotland to be scrapped.

The Radio Caroline organisation identified the ship as a suitable replacement for their ship Mi Amigo which had sunk in March 1980. The Ross Revenge was purchased by a company registered in Liechtenstein - Seamore  - and registered in Panama to the Grothan Steamship Lines Inc. (Both companies were a ‘front’ for the Radio Caroline organisation).

In April 1981 the Ross Revenge was towed by the Spanish tug Aznar Jose Luis from the Cairnryan breakers yard. She arrived in Solares, near Santander, Spain five days later. In autumn 1981, work began to convert the Ross Revenge into a radio ship - a job which took nearly two years to complete.

BEFORE OFFSHORE  RADIO Ross Revenge Ross Revenge as Freyer

In service as Freyer during the early 1960’s

Ross Revenge in Santander Ross Revenge in Santander

Above and left: the Ross Revenge during conversion into a radio ship in Santander, Spain 1982/83

After the Ross Revenge ran aground on the Goodwin Sands in November 1991 she was salvaged (one of only a handful of ships to survive running aground on the Goodwin Sands) and towed into Dover harbour, where she was detained as being un-seaworthy. Since then although she has been moved a number of times, she remained under a restriction order preventing her going out to sea.

AFTEROFFSHORE  RADIORoss Revenge shortly after aerial mast collapsed 1987Ross Revenge on Goodwin Sands 1991Ross Revenge in Dover Harbour 1993

Top left: Ross Revenge in December 1987, shortly after the 300’ aerial mast had collapsed

Top right: on the Goodwin Sands, November 1991

Left: in Dover Harbour shortly before being moved to the River Blackwater, 1993

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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

 Floor 2

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Ships - The Main Fleet

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Click here for more pictures of Ross Revenge as a fishing trawler

Ross Revenge as a trawler