De Amerikaanse radiowereld onderhield tijdens de vorige eeuw een liefde/haatverhouding met de zeezendersector. Buiten het geslaagde Radio London, sneuvelden alle pogingen. Laser 558 oogstte verbazing. Hans Knot schreef er een boek over. RadioVisie publiceert exclusief het eerste hoofdstuk dat een duidelijker inzicht biedt op de moeilijke aanloopperiode.
'The Communicator' had fully passed all the tests necessary to obtain a full certificate of seaworthiness. The fire-fighting system alone had cost 11.000 dollar. After the news was spreading around that the ship was anchored in New Ross, the owners decided to go away to sea for a few days and so news people, who were on search for 'The Communicator', didn’t find the ship there between December 12th and 16th 1983.
Journalists from around Europe tried to trace down the vessel and started telling each other the strangest things about the ship which led to humorous newspaper articles. For instant a news paper in Munster, 'The Express' mentioned on December 16th that the American-owned communicating vessel was containing millions of pounds worth of the most advanced satellite linked computer equipment: ‘
The ship is fitted out with a Comsat terminal near her stern and by using the Marisat or Marecs satellites, which are 22.500 miles up in space, personal can be in constant contact touch with their home base, other ships or any place else in the world. It is possible that the ship could be using the NASA landsat 4 Satellite. This facility is 500 miles up in space and used to be called the Earth Resource Satellite System, which is mainly used by the Navy and the Military. Using that particular system the ship could accurately pinpoint its position to a matter of yards.’
On the same day NOS radio contacted me for an interview about the new project. So I did some extra research to bring information which wasn’t heard before. The interview was in the daily program ‘Met het oog op morgen’ (With the eye aimed at tomorrow) and the interviewer warned the listeners it might be possible that Radio One, which aired that daily program, could have a lesser audience in the future as a new radioship was heading for anchorage near the 'Ross Revenge' from Radio Caroline.
New facts I could tell were that the station would be using a ship, which was built in 1954 in Lemwerder, Western Germany. It was at that stage owned by the Deka Overseas Corp. New York. On the vessel, so I could tell, were two 25 kW transmitters which both could be coupled. They came from the factory CSI. On board at that time was an 8 cylinder generator, with a power of 600 pk.
Also we learned that the ship was bought for a very low price of 65.000 Pounds. Also I heard from my contact person in the USA that the ship would leave the harbour in New Ross, Ireland soon and would go on its way to the anchorage in the Thames Estuary. Roy Landau’s name was also mentioned for the first time when I was asked if the station would bring commercials in their programs.
I could tell that the Laser organisation had a boss, who was the former Vice President of Major Market Radio Sales in New York. Also I could tell that on board the ship enough food, water, oil and other supplements, for use in the forthcoming six months were stored.
Hans Knot - To Be Continued