Hams Celebrate Dutch Offshore Pirate Radio

nordseeOn August 31st it will be 40 years that the Dutch offshore radio stations stopped their transmissions due to changes in legislation. Many fans still mourn the loss of their beloved stations in 1974. Arie, PD0ARI, from Giessenburg, The Netherlands, will be operating the Special Event Station PD538RNI from August 28th until September 19th. He will be active on 10m, 20m and 40 meters. All operations will be on Phone.

The “538” in the call sign stands for the last frequency the offshore radio station Veronica used, and RNI stands for Radio Northsea International, the name of the other station that had to stop 40 years ago. QSL via PD0ARI, direct (w/SAE & 2 USDs) or by the Bureau.

Radio Northsea International with their psychedelically painted ship the MEBO 2 seized to exist altogether after their offshore days ended. In 1975 Radio Veronica (that targeted more on music with Dutch origins) became a station in the Public Radio and TV system of the Netherlands, and went commercial as soon as it was possible (1995). Today the name Veronica is still affiliated with a commercial TV channel and Radio Veronica is also still operating.

Arie explains his radio addiction: “My love for radio has started in the early 70’s while listening to Radio Veronica and Radio Northsea International. Both stations transmitted from radio ships on the North Sea and had millions of listeners. Radio Veronica transmitted on medium wave.

Radio Northsea International transmitted on medium wave, short wave and FM. Every day good programs, fantastic DJ’s, nice jingles and radio tunes! The DJ’s became sort of family; a part of your life! Radio Northsea International on Shortwave triggered me to listen to SW (DX) radio stations and a new hobby was born…. and it was a training for good radio ears too!”

In 1974 the Dutch government passed its anti-pirate legislation and announced that the law was to come into effect on September 1st, 1974. Both stations closed down in the evening of August the 31st 1974. Arie continues: “August the 31st 1974: The day the music died! After being a Shortwave Listener for a long time, I got my radio license and started as a HAM operator. Every day I’m active on the bands: no day without radio! All in all: My love for radio started by listening to Radio Veronica and Radio Northsea International!”

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