The Story of Radio Atlantis.

1973. July.

Adriaan van Landschoot, a wealthy twenty-five year old Belgian businessman negotiated a three month contract to hire a ten kilowatt transmitter on Radio Caroline's ship, the MV Mi Amigo for thirteen hours a day. Since Belgium had introduced a Marine Offences Law in 1962, all business to do with the station had to be carried out in Holland.

15th July. 10:00 two hours of non stop Beatles music was used for tests. At 12:00 the station opened and continued until 19:00.

16th July. Regular programming started at 06:00, broadcasting prerecorded tapes for thirteen hours a day. The tapes being recorded in studios in Oostburg, Holland. There was a Flemish audience of about 5,000,000 people. The Flemish authorities did not take kindly to the station, and legal action was threatened.

1st October. The mast on the Mi Amigo collapsed and programmes ceased.

5th October. Poor quality broadcasts were heard on 1187 Khz.

The three month contract was nearing the end and tapes did not arrive. Old tapes were repeated, and the English DJ's on board presented shows, as did Dutch crew member, Harry Bergman.

On the 18th October at about 09:30 the temporary aerial collapsed and the station left the air. Adriaan van Landschoot was unable to renew the contract (a better offer had been received from a Belgian organisation headed by Sylvain Tack) and set about finding his own ship...

31st October. The ex Radio Condor ship Zondaxonagon and the Radio Noordzee 1,000 Watt transmitter was purchased. The ship was renamed as the Jeanine, although the name on the ship was Janeine - the Flemish spelling and the name of Adriaan van Landschoot's wife.

3rd November. Tests were carried out for two days on 656 Khz and 1322 Khz with a power of about 450 Watts.

6th November. The tug Titan took the Janeine in tow after finding the ship abandoned and drifting a mile from the Dutch coast. The crew of four had jumped into a lifeboat before the tug arrived. The ship was towed to Cuxhaven, Germany for a large anchor to be fitted, afterwards the ship stayed in the tax free harbour. More broadcasting equipment was added to the ship at this time.

28th November. Theo Klinkenberg the radio engineer was found dead in the water near the ship. He had taken drugs and had been drinking and it's assumed he missed his footings when boarding the ship.

22nd December. The Janeine was towed to the Belgian coast, and anchored off Knocke.

23rd December. Test broadcasts commenced with deejay Crispian St. John on 1115 Khz with a power of 100 Watts, by the following morning the power was increased to about 500 Watts. Steve England was the programme director.

On the 25th December the ex REM island transmitter was tested and broadcasts made in English until the 29th December.

30th December. Flemish programmes commenced until 19:00 when English programmes took over.

Many problems with equipment forced the station off air around this time.


5th January. Test broadcasts recommenced with regular programming restarting on the 7th of January.
28th February. After transmitter adjustments a huge increase in output signal was heard.

Some pre-recorded programmes compared by Ray Warner (Ray Anderson of East Anglian Productions), A J Beirens and Gaby Hernandez were broadcast.

18th March. A news service was introduced.

16th April. After close down a frequency change to 962 Khz was made to overcome problems of interference. Output power needed to be increased and a linear amplifier was ordered.

4th May. The Flemish service was shortened in favour of the International (English) Service.

Mid May. The 10,000 Watt from Capital Radio (ex Radio 270) was taken out to the Janeine.

6th June. The aerial collapsed during a storm, and a temporary aerial was constructed. During the night the anchor chain broke and the ship ended up on a sandbank, twenty miles from it's anchorage.

9th June. Programmes restarted and on the 10th June the linear amplifier was tested but found not to be working correctly, and caused a small fire on board. Next day a new anchor and chain weighing eleven tons was fitted.

18th June. Deejays Luc van Capellen and Victor van Rijn are sacked, because they had allegedly shown interest in the Radio Benelux project.

20th June. The first live Flemish programme was broadcast, with Dutch deejays Peter de Vries and Rob Ronder.

23rd June. The 10,000 Watt transmitter was tested during the night and on the 24th June the ship remained unlit during the night due to generator problems.

29th June. After this date the Flemish service did not carry advertising because of the new laws passed by the Belgium Government.

30th June. 10:30 - 19:00 off air due to technical problems. DJ Peter de Vries made contact with Dutch amateur radio operators, asking them to contact British amateur radio operators and pass a message to John Harding that some important technical parts were urgently required on the Janeine.

During June and July, with the station working well, the crew worked long hours building new studios and installing more equipment.

On the 15th July Radio Atlantis celebrated it's first birthday. A party was held in the Oostburg studio as well as on board the Janeine.

25th July. A low power shortwave transmitter was tested on 6225 Khz with a power output of about 250 Watts. This was the only time this transmitter was used.

1st August. A fault in the medium wave transmitter oscillator destroyed the crystal, and with no spare, another frequency crystal was used. But, this lead to all the old interference problems again.

11th August. The Atlantis news service was discontinued but weather reports were still read out on the hour.

17th August. It was announced that the station was to close down on the 31st August because of the Dutch Marine Offences Act becoming law.

25th August. The Flemish service closed, DJ Frank van Leeuwen and Mr Galaxy presented the final programme till 14:00.

Adriaan van Landschoot closed the Flemish service. A three hour International (English) service followed, which replaced the Flemish service for the next five days.

31st August. At 19:08 the station closed.
Each DJ said their goodbye's with a funny story, finally Adriaan van Landschoot said his goodbye's with "Atlantis, Jij moet blijfen bestaan (Atlantis, you must endure)", followed by the theme tune Atlantis - The Shadows.

1st September. The tender Onrust raised the anchor and towed the ship to Vlissingen. The tug Deurloo was then used to tow the Onrust and Janeine into harbour.

3rd September. Mr Swaneveld had the ship arrested, claiming he was owed money for use of the transmitter, which was his.

4th September. The Public Prosecutors Office in Ghent stated that they were to start legal proceedings against Adriaan van Landschoot, Tony Houston (real name Roger Hendrickx) and Marc van Petegem.

Attempts had been made to sell the ship, but the people concerned could not raise enough money.

29th September. Adriaan van Landschoot was fined the equivalent of 18,000 for operating an unlicensed radio station.

28th April. The Janeine was sold at auction to shipbreakers Van de Marel of Ouwerkerk, Holland (the same company that broke up the MV Caroline), and the ship was broken up.

After paying the harbour authorities, the remainder of the money went to the previous owner and not Adriaan van Landschoot.

Adapted from Jim Parkes "Encyclopedia of Offshore Radio" by Chris Edwards.

The Story of Radio Atlantis is now available on compact disc, from Offshore Echo's.