Broadcasting Act
The UK Broadcasting Act came into force on 1st January 1991. The act tightened up the 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, and now gave the British authorities powers to board any ship in international waters, if they suspected the ship is capable of broadcasting. There was serious concern among many over the legality of this new act, which incidentally remains unchallenged to this day. The French left wing “Groupe Coalition des Gauches” tabled a written question to the European Parliament, that queried the authority of Great Britain to intercept foreign ships in International Waters. “The English Government has passed an act (Marine Offences Broadcasting Act) which authorises the forcible interception of a foreign flagged ship in International Waters, if it is suspected of being able to carry out radio transmission. A number of groups and organisations like the International Chamber of Shipping have protested against this act. The Council of Ministers asks for the political cooperation of the members against this act, with the cause of the principals of territory and constitution, which meddles in the affairs of foreign nations?” Greenpeace, Amnesty International and the French Green Party were also among those questioning the
validity of the new UK act.
The new act had made it impossible for Radio Caroline to continue broadcasting from international waters. There did however appear to be a loophole in the law, that if the radio station was able to obtain a broadcasting licence from a foreign country, then it could legally broadcast again from the freedom of the high seas. While the possibility of a "third world" licence was being investigated, Caroline's ship remained at sea, with a caretaker crew.

Support Group
With Radio Caroline no longer broadcasting, their ship Ross Revenge was reluctantly accepted by the authorities, as simply being a ship. This allowed the "Ross Revenge Support Group" to be set up by supporters, to service the ship and provide much needed maintenance. The support groups published aims were: 1. To keep the Ross Revenge at sea, and render her safe and sound. 2. To ensure that her volunteer crew live in a safe and comfortable environment. 3. To improve the condition of the ship after the last three years of unavoidable neglect. These improvements are to the ships marine capabilities and not to her ability to broadcast. 4. To keep the name of Caroline in the public eye, and to widely state her case for being allowed to continue. 5. To counter any threat, by appropriate legal action. 6. To research ways that Caroline might return to the air, without breaking any law, nor kow-towing to the authorities. Whilst some wanted to help the offshore Caroline, others wanted to cash in on the famous name.
A new company Radio Caroline UK Ltd, announced its intention to apply for a local UK license for a land based radio station with a Kent and Essex service area. It didn't have the backing of the offshore Radio Caroline, whose founder Ronan O'Rahilly stated that “we’re the only Free station on the planet, we won't sell out”. Easter 1991 saw Radio Caroline return to the airwaves, for a short lived satellite radio service, that had been given free airtime on Radio Nova's former operation.


Small on deck generator used for ships lighting


Ships funnel - 26-1-1991


Panamanian Flag










Complete Radio Caroline News
part 2. as published in OEM 84

Ross Revenge 1991

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