During the 35 years of broadcasting Radio Caroline has used 5 ships. The Frederica, The Mi Amigo, The Cheeta 2 , The Mebo 2 and the Ross Revenge.
The first ship the Frederica started broadcasting on 28th March 1964 using a frequency of 1520khz 197 meters. She was fitted out as a radio ship in Greenore. The ship was a ex Danish Passenger Ferry. She was moved to an anchorage off the Isle Of Man on 13th July 1964 to be the Radio Caroline North . She broadcast from this location until 2nd March 1968 when she was boarded and towed to Holland .Unfortunately on 29th May 1972 she was put up for auction and sold to be scraped.
The Mi Amigo is probably the ship most of us think of as Radio Caroline. It followed the Frederica to the Essex coast and began broadcasting as Radio Atlanta after a series of tests on 12th May 1964 using a frequency of 1493khz (201 meters) .(The Mi Amigo had been used previously as an offshore ship in 1960 called Radio Nord. named Bon Jour at the Time). The Mi Amigo changed her call sign to Radio Caroline South when the Frederica went North on13th July 1964. She continued to broadcast off the Essex Coast until she was also towed to Holland on 2nd March 1968.She had better luck than the Frederica and was sold to a group of Radio Caroline supporters on 29th May 1972 who managed to get the ship back to sea on 3rd September 1972 off the Dutch Coast. Test broadcasts commenced on 1187 kHz during the evening of 29th September 1972. Although back on the air the ship was in a bad condition and broadcasts were spasmodic. Work continued and she managed to get back to her position as a regular broadcaster, along side Radio's North Sea International, Veronica and Atlantis off the Dutch Coast. However the Dutch passed their version of the Marine Offences Act and on 29th August 1974 the Mi Amigo raised anchor and sailed to the Knock Deep Channel off the Essex coast. Caroline had become an outlaw again and was to face one of the most eventful periods of her history. Unfortunately all was to end for the Mi Amigo, on 20th March 1989 when she sadly sunk.
The Cheeta 2 was used by Caroline South from 12th February 1966 to 1st May 1966, as a stand in to the Mi Amigo which had broken its anchor chain and gone aground on 20th January 1966.The Mi Amigo was taken to Holland for repair and the Cheeta 2 was used as a stand in. The Cheeta 2 normally broadcasted off the Danish coast as Radio Syd, but Pack Ice in that region had forced the Cheeta to stop broadcasting and move anchorage.
The Mebo 2 was the ship used by Radio Northsea International from 1970 to 1974. However whilst off the Essex coast the British Government jammed her broadcasts. On 13th June 1970 she changed her name to Radio Caroline International and took part in election broadcasts, stating that if a Conservative Government was elected the jamming would stop. A Conservative Government was elected the jamming did not stop. The station changed its name back to Radio North Sea International after the election on18th June, and went back to the Dutch Coast on 23rd June 1979
The Ross Revenge was previously owned by Ross Fisheries and took part in the cod war in the 1970`s. She was purchased by the Caroline Organization and took to Santander, Spain for conversion to a Radio Ship. She then anchored in the Knock Deep and commenced broadcasts on 20th August 1983. She was equipped with I no RCA Victor 50 KW transmitter and 2 short wave transmitters, one of which was later converted to a 10KW medium wave transmitter. She was also home to Radio Monique, and World Mission Radio during her time in service. The ship went through a number of upsets including Euro siege when the DTI tried to get move Caroline and the Laser Ship off the air. On 6th November 1985 Laser sailed into Harwich leaving the Ross Revenge alone to fight the elements. On 10th June 1987 she moved her anchorage to the South Falls Head in preparation of the extension of British Territorial Waters being extended to 12 miles from the then present 3 miles. On 25th November 1987 the 300 foot tower came crashing down and a temporary wire antenna was used using a washing basket as an insulator. The towers were almost complete and Caroline was thinking of switching back to full power when on 18th August 1989 officials from the Dutch and British Governments boarded the ship. They stole everything that was moveable and smashed the transmitters up like some teenage lout .Radio Caroline managed to return to the air on low power on 1st October 1989. However this was short lived and she made her last broadcast in November 1990. She lay silent at the Falls Head until November 1991 when she went broke anchor and went aground on the Goodwin Sands. The skeleton staff were rescued by the Helicopters from RAF Manston. The Tugs managed to salvage the ship at the last attempt and she was towed into the Granville Dock in Dover. The then Ross Revenge Supporters Group managed to raise enough money to pay the salvage costs and the after quite a few legalities managed to move her to Bradwell. Since then she has been off the coast of Clacton for a Restricted Service License, Southend for a term by the Pier, and then to London for an RSL. After a second RSL in London at Tilbury Docks she was moved to a private dock at Tilbury, where much work has been carried out on the vessel. At present the Caroline Organisation are seaching for a new mooring for the Ross which would enable public access again.