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Communications and Codes

With true irony the offshore stations - whose business was communication - had to operate without any direct radio or telephone contact with their landbased offices. There were no mobile phones or ‘social media’ outlets when the offshore stations were around !

Except for emergency situations ship-to-shore radio communications were usually cut off by the authorities and the cellular mobile telephone was an invention which only came very late in the history of offshore radio. There were some exceptions, most notably the Voice of Peace with Abie Nathan's famous (or infamous) Motorola, but for the most part stations had to devise alternative means of relaying urgent messages to their offices.

They quickly learnt that on-air messages during programmes were unprofessional and , although used many times during emergency situations, often resulted in listeners jamming the emergency services’ switchboards with calls. The raid on the Mebo II in 1970 and the fire-bomb attack on the same radio ship in 1971 are prime examples of this problem.

A number of alternative methods were devised:-



The  Hold

HOLD Noun - cavity in a ship below deck where cargo is stowed. Also the area used to house transmitters on many radio ships.


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