With the engines now running, but only at a quarter power because of problems with the water cooler, a decision had to be made about where the ship should head. The Captain, aware that the law forbade offshore radio ships to enter Swedish territorial waters except in an emergency nevertheless, sought, and was given, permission from the Radio Nord office to head for the Swedish port of Sandhamn because of the critical situation facing the Magda Maria at that time. By midnight on 6th December 1961 it was estimated that the ship must be inside Swedish territorial waters and so transmissions were suspended.
The ship was guided into port at Sandhamn by pilots and docked for repairs. Fortunately for Radio Nord the authorities did not enforce the law relating to confiscation of broadcasting equipment and merely sealed the station's transmitters.
Repairs to the engine and aerial mast stays were completed and a new anchor installed by 8th December 1961. The Magda Maria left port hurriedly in case the authorities changed their minds about confiscation of equipment and sailed, through thick fog, back to her anchorage from where broadcasts recommenced later the same day. Apart from some hours in the early days of the station's broadcasts this short break in transmissions was the only time Radio Nord went off the air during its 15 month life.
During the summer of 1962 plans were made by Radio Nord to start an easy-
An even more ambitious plan, involving co-
The problem with television transmissions from a ship is that when the vessel pitches and tosses in rough seas, the transmitted signal is badly distorted and satisfactory reception is virtually impossible on land. It was only when the Radio Nord directors heard about a technical development in America that the idea of an offshore television station became more than just a dream. The US Navy had managed to develop an aerial system which could be used on board ships anchored at sea to transmit television signals. Exactly how this device solved the 'rolling picture' problem was, of course, top secret, but through various contacts in the American Navy Radio Nord were convinced that they could acquire one of the units for use in their project.
As the Stockholm Archipelago where the Radio Nord vessel, Magda Maria was anchored was considered too wide to achieve satisfactory transmissions into the Stockholm city area it was decided that the project would have to be based in the south of the country with programmes beamed to Sweden's next largest city, Malmo, from a vessel anchored in The Sound.
Across The Sound is Denmark and its capital city, Copenhagen, which was already served by an offshore station, Radio Mercur. Initial discussions took place between the two stations (both of whom were keen on establishing a television service) and a joint venture was officially entered into by Radio Nord and Radio Mercur. A new company -
In the face of the Scandinavian anti-
It had been decided to close Radio Nord a month ahead of the new legislation coming into effect because prospective purchasers had been found for the fully equipped radio ship. The purchasers, Project Atlanta, had plans to use the Magda Maria as the base from which to launch the first offshore radio station off the British coast.
A few days after Radio Nord closed the Magda Maria sailed first to Belgium, then to Spain to be overhauled as part of the sale agreement with Project Atlanta, arriving in El Ferrol on 2nd August 1962.
Radio Nord’s final Top 10 chart
Click on picture to enlarge
8th December 1961
1st July 1962
1st July 1962
Bon Jour in Belgium after Radio Nord had closed, July 1962
Photo: Ingemar Lindqvist
Ship and Location
Trailer for ‘De Tio’
Commercials and Programme Trailers courtesy Ingemar Lindqvist