In Essex, former offshore pirates are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the day they met their doom.
Back in the 1960s, pirate radio broadcasters swam wild through the waters of the North Sea, illegally airing counter-cultural programming from ships and abandoned sea forts to an audience of millions on land. Because these pirates were broadcasting from international waters, they were outside of British jurisdiction and there was nothing the government could do to stop them. That is, until an altercation between individuals from two pirate stations turned fatal. Officials were then pressured to pass the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act in 1967, thus ending the party. I wrote up a little summary of the twisted tales and epic battles between warring pirates like Radio Caroline and Radio City, which you can read here.
The British ex-pirates are having a reunion of sorts, broadcasting legally (via BBC Essex) from a ship moored off Harwich. The special broadcasts continue through tomorrow, August 14, and you can listen to the stream over at BBC Essex.
BBC is also hosting a cool radio documentary about the glory days of the Essex pirates, which you can find on this page.