Ship details: A 403 ton gross Icelandic trawler, Emma IM15, was built by de Dollard shipyard, Landsmeer, Holland, in 1956. In February 1957 the Emma made her first voyage, skippered by Johannes Blok. During April 1964 the Emma was chartered by an oil company for drilling exercises in the North Sea. In 1967 the Emma was owned by NV Marezaten, and was sold to the Ouwehands fishing company in Katwijk ann Zee, Holland. They renamed the ship Zeeland KW122. In 1970 the Zeeland was decommissioned from herring fishing and tied up in Katwijk harbour.
Two years later the ship was sold as scrap to Steph Willemsen for 30,000 Guilders who wanted to launch Radio Condor from the boat. Willemsen now called the boat Zondaxonagon or simply Condor. On 30th July 1973 the ship was towed out of IJmuiden, the ship had no engine, it had been destroyed in a fire aboard the ship while it was a trawler. On 10th August the anchor chain broke, and the ship was towed to IJmuiden. The shipping inspector had doubts about the seaworthiness of the ship and the Zeeland was sold as scrap. On 25th September the ship was towed out to off the coast of Zandvoort in International waters, where Mr Willemsen purchased the boat back.
On 31st October 1973 Steph Willemsen sold the vessel to Adriaan van Landschoot for 50,000 Guilders. Then the ship became the home for Radio Atlantis. It was renamed Jeanine after van Landschoot’s wife. On November 6th the Wijsmuller tug Titan took the Jeanine 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. On 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.
On 22nd December the Jeanine was towed to the Belgian coast. On 5th June 1974 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 its anchorage. 6 days later a new anchor and chain weighing eleven tons fitted was fitted to the ship.
On 1st September 1974 at 04:15 hours, the tender Onrust raised the anchor and towed the ship to Vlissingen. The tug Deurloo was then used to tow the Onrust and Jeanine into harbour where they were met by a crowd of about 1,000 people. When every one had left the ship it was sealed. Two days later Mr Swaneveld had the ship arrested, claiming he was owed money for use of the transmitter, which was his. On 4th September the Public Prosecutors Office in Ghent stated that they are 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. On 28th April 1976 the Jeanine was sold at auction to shipbuilder Van de Marel of Ouwerkerk, Holland (the ship breakers that bought the MV Caroline), and the ship was broken up.
Offshore radio stations: Steph Willemsen insists that there have been test transmissions by Radio Condor during the summer of 1973. Radio Atlantis from 23rd December 1973 to 31st August 1974.
Location: International waters off the coast off Knocke (Belgium)