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Although offshore radio operators tried to anchor their ships in relatively sheltered positions the vessels were always vulnerable to the forces of nature.

Inevitably they (and their crews) suffered at the mercies of gales and rough seas, with countless occurrences of driftings, aerials being damaged and stations temporarily put off the air.

Sometimes the storms were so severe that the ships were driven ashore. There around 20 recorded occasions when offshore radio ships were grounded. Most were re-floated and returned to their position in international waters, some had to be scrapped after sustaining irreparable damage, but incredibly only one offshore radio ship sank during a storm – Radio Caroline’s Mi Amigo on 20th March 1980 (pictured right).

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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Basement The Hold