New uses for old Lightships

As my quest for more information on Lightships continues I have come across all sorts of interesting links to far away places where old Lightships continue to live-on in new roles. I had already learnt about the Radio Scotland pirate station which broadcast from the the former Irish Lights ship “Comet” during 1966/67 and which ultimately end up scrapped in Holland. The “Comet” Lightship was involved in the famous Daunt rescue in 1936 when its crew were rescued by the Ballycotton RNLI boat “Mary Stanford” but I digress and will return to the “Comet” story in future postings.

The subject of this post is former Trinity House Lightvessel LV8 nowadays better known as the “Jenni Baynton” and which is now based in Harlingen, a small harbour-town in the northern part of Holland, and from where Radio “Sea Gull” and Radio “Waddenzee” broadcast a range of classic rock and jazz music 24/7.  The vessel was built in 1948 at the Philip & Son shipyard at Dartmouth in Devon, England and served on various English lightship stations (Kentish Knock, Sunk, Dudgeon, Tongue etc) and survived a collision in March 25th, 1955 with Panamanian steamer “A.L. Kent”  before eventually being sold-off in 1991 for use as a floating discothèque in Rotterdam. From 2001 she went into storage with a far from certain future and it wasn’t until 2005 that she finally arrived at her new home in Harlingen. The full story can be had here: and, more importantly, access to the radio station’s shop which stocks all sorts of interesting collectables!

Radio “Sea Gull” is a real time warp and brings back happy memories for me of illicit listening to Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg under my pillow at Boarding School. Try it out for yourself here: if you’re an old rocker like me you’ll love it…I’ll post some more about their collectables once I order some!

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