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August 13, 2007



Something does not ring completely true with the whole Essex pirate radio station ordeal. Yes, the BBC was legally powerless for quite some time to stop them, due to being in international waters. The pirates were, however, breaking maritime law, and the British Coast Guard (now the Maritime Coast Authority or something) could have legally busted them. Once in international waters, maritime law takes over, and just about *any* nation could have busted them legally. It sounds to me like the pirates were just not that big of a deal - not even big enough for someone to steam up to the North Sea and bother shutting them down.

Navy radio nerd

Philip David Morgan

That's not all of the story, though... especially considering that Radio Caroline not only survived the Marine Offences Act of 1967 (as well as the rusting away and sinking of the M/V Mi Amigo and the 1989 raid on their current ship, the Ross Revenge) but is actually now operating legally on land via a broadcast facility in Maidstone, Kent, England. They stream to Sky Digital (channel 0199), but the easiest way to hear them is online ( Their website also has a section devoted to the station's history, which also provides some serious insight into the world of British and Dutch offshore radio. If that wasn't enough, Caroline did some special programming on August 14th to remember what went down forty years ago, when they refused to shut down. That said, they take serious interest in new and live music, as evidenced by their recent relays from the Cambridge Rock Festival (I dare WFMU staffers to sit still during a number from the band known as Bluehorses). I am impressed that here is one pirate that has taken (and endured) so much during their last four decades and can still matter in this day and age.

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