M.V. Cheeta II

Ship details: In January 1961 the Cheeta was replaced by the 450 ton Norwegian coastal ship having been called “Habat” and  “Mosken”, now renamed Cheeta 2.

In the summer of 1962 (after Radio Mercur´s broadcasts had stopped) the vessel was called “San Pedrito” for a short period. Now the ship was moored in Copenhagen harbor, then moved to Flensburg in Germany and later sailed back again to a position off Copenhagen having been sold to Mrs. Britt Wadner.

On 20th January 1966 thick pack ice forced the Cheeta 2 to leave her anchorage. Following the grounding of the Mi Amigo she sailed to a position off Frinton (UK) to take her place while repairs were carried out.

During storm force winds on 21st July 1966, the Cheeta II started to drift towards Gunfleet Sands. A call was put out for help because the windlass was damaged, Walton and Frinton lifeboat offered assistance but this was refused. The Felixstowe tug “Agama” was sent out to the Cheeta II and managed to put a line onto her. The Cheeta II was then towed to Harwich Harbour with three crew members on board.

The Cheeta II was moored in the River Stour between Shotley and Parkstone Quay.

On 22nd July, an Admiralty Marshall boarded the ship and nailed a writ on one of the masts, immobilising the ship. The owners of the tug “Agama”, Gaselee and Son were claiming salvage of the ship.

It became unclear at this time who the owners of the MS Cheeta II were.

On 16th November The Cheeta II was released from arrest, after Mr Justice Brandon has dismissed an application to evaluate and sell the ship. Several people claimed to own the ship, Peter Duncan, Viewsport and UBA Establishment of Liechtenstein.

23rd January 1967, London and East Anglia Ship Supply Company served a writ against the MS Cheeta II, in respect of services, supplies and wages to the value of £3,000.

At the beginning of November, the Cheeta II sailed to Vlissingen, Holland

8th November. The Cheeta II left Vlissingen heading for Corunna, Spain.

13th November. The ship left Corunna and headed for Safi, Morocco arriving on the 18th.

21st November. The Cheeta II left Safi and headed for Tenerife, Canary Islands, arriving on the 24th.

3rd December. The ship headed for Las Palmas, and then Bathurst, The Gambia.

 In 1969, the Cheeta II was moored near Bathurst. During the year the transmitters and studio equipment were removed from the Cheeta II and put into storage. The Cheeta II was then converted into a floating restaurant, disco and souvenir shop. In 1971, the Cheeta II was sold to a Senegalese merchant, who neglected the ship. In August, the Cheeta II partially sank due to neglect and old age when a storm hit the town of Bathurst. The remains could still be seen not far from Bund Road, on the outskirts of Bathurst.

Offshore radio station: Radio Mercur (for Denmark) from 31st January 1961 to 10th July 1962, Skånes Radio Mercur (for Sweden) from 31st January 1961 to November 1961, Radio Syd from 28th September 1964 to 19th January 1966, Radio Caroline South from13th February to 1st May 1966.

Legalised radio station: Radio Syd Gambia in the late 1960´s

Location: International waters at the southern location between Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmö (Sweden). In November 1961 to July 1962 the ship anchored in the Stora Bält/Elefantgrunden between Fyns Hoved, Funen and Reerso, Zeeland (Denmark). From 1964 to January 1966 the vessel anchored off Malmö (Sweden). In early 1966 the ship was moored off Frinton (UK). From 1968 it was moored in Bathurst harbour, Gambia.

unknown photographer