Registration number 3487
Status Registered

Previous names

  • Freyr


Function Fishing Vessel
Subfunction Trawler
Location Blackwater
Vessel type Grimsby Side Trawler
Current use Private use
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes


Built in 1960
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 4
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Diesel and electric
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
220.00 feet (67.06m)
Breadth: Beam
39.00 feet (11.89m)
Air Draft
110.00 feet (33.53m)
16.00 feet (4.88m)


ROSS REVENGE was built for Icelandic owners, but sold on Ross Fisheries in 1963. Thereafter she operated from Grimsby, bringing in record catches and then took part in the final Cold Boat, ramming an Icelandic gun boat.

After the collapse of the UK fishing industry she was awaiting scrapping in Cairnryan but was purchased by Radio Caroline and taken to Santander to be converted to a radio broadcasting ship. The tallest mast ever placed on any ship was put on her to facilitate broadcasting. In her radio role she stayed permanently at sea from 1983 to 1991.

The vessel was shipwrecked in 1991 and brought to Dover harbour in very poor condition. Volunteers paid the salvage costs and started to make repairs which are ongoing today. There has been no outside funding. Donations to the value of £250.000 have been raised and spent since 1991.

Update, January 2023: A charity, MV Ross Revenge (Home of Radio Caroline) has been established, and a fundraiser set up to raise funds for the dry docking and ultimately restoring of the vessel to working order.


It is believed she is the last example of a distant water side trawler and the only remaining pirate radio ship in the world. She is significant as she remains as she was built, only with the addition of radio broadcasting equipment which remains in place.

Key dates

  • 1960

    Vessel built In Germany. 

  • 1963

    Sold to Ross Fisheries.

  • 1981

    Bought by Radio Caroline

  • 1987

    Rode out the 1987 hurricane but she lost her 300ft mast.

  • 1989

    Raided at sea by armed personnel from the Dutch authorities.

  • 1991

    Shipwrecked on the Goodwins, being one of the few vessels, if any, to survive this.


  • 2021

    Awarded £500 from the NHS-UK Strategic Development Fund towards the upgrade of the washroom

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