Lucky Star

Ship details: The Roelfina I, a 220 tonnage freighter with two masts was originally built by H. van der Werff in Stadskanaal (province of Groningen, Netherlands) in 1913. Her length was about 21 metres. In her early days, the Roelfina I was owned by Hendrik Holwerda from Gasselternijveen (Netherlands) and christened after his wife Roelfina. The ship did not have a motor but was a sailing vessel instead. It was not before 1927 that it got a motor with 3 cylinders and 4 cycles built by Brons Motoren Fabriek. In 1961 it was replaced by a 220 pk motor made by Dan Normo.

It was not revealed when the ship was rebuilt and enlarged from 131 to 167 BRT. Between 1932 and 1946 the ship was owned by H.Sloots Rzn and later J. Sloots.  In 1946 it was sold to C. Holscher’s Kustvaartbedrijf NV in Rotterdam and renamed MV Taurus. In 1956, it was sold to A. Oudman in Rotterdam. In 1960, Oudman sold the MV Taurus to A. Brask Thomsen from Copenhagen who seems to have rebuilt the vessel as a radio ship in the harbour of Stege. Now she was registered in Panama as the MV Lucky Star. You cannot find any archive records of the ship being registered as the Nijmah Al Hazz  from Libanon, but nevertheless there is a picture of her with that name clearly visible.

During several weeks in the summer of 1961, the vessel was moored in the Maashaven in Rotterdam in the Netherlands (shipyard Waalhaven). A certain Knudsen from Denmark was reported to have problems of finding a suitable registration for the future radio ship. The RadioVisie website reports that Etablissement Technique International from  Liechtenstein was the new owner consisting of the former Radio Mercur people Anders Dahlerup, Nete Schreiner and Hans Vangkilde who started the new station DCR. RadioVisie mentiones a Belgian harbour where the vessel was rebuilt as a radio ship.

On August 16th 1962, two Danish custom patrol boats with 16 policemen boarded the radio ship “Lucky Star” at 4 o’clock in the morning. This action by the Danish government was hotly debated in the media and in “Folketinget” because the boarding took place on international waters and the legality was in question. Many passing ships demonstrated against the boarding by lowering their flags to half mast. The vessel was brought to Copenhagen and a legal battle followed. 

The Lucky Star was taken over by CV Bron from Copenhagen who rebuilt her as a coaster with  Hundested as her home port. In 1963 it was sold to Knud E. Witthoft from Rasmussen and her co-owner and captain Edvard Madsen from Hundested. Now the vessel was renamed MV Kamila Witthoft. Six years later, both owners sold her to Carl E. Larsen from Norresundby who rechristened her as the MV Vendelbo with Aarhus as her home port.  In 1974, it was sold to Poul Christensen who brought her to his scapyard Dansk Skipsophug in Nakskov.

Offshore radio station: DCR (Danmarks Commercielle Radio) from 15th September 1961 to 19th January 1962, Radio Mercur (for Denmark) from 12th February 1962 to 16th August 1962

Location: International waters in The Sound off Copenhagen (Denmark)

unknown photographer