M.V. Sarah

Ship details: The one hundred and three foot tall aerial mast was installed in September 1986. During spring 1987 a 5,000 pound surplus battleship anchor was purchased. In May the Sarah was reportedly registered in Honduras, but was in fact registered in the US state of Maine. 20th July 1987: With the help of an offshore supply vessel the Sarah was taken via Cape Cod canal to her anchorage, about four and a half miles off Long Island, New York. On board at the time were John M. Calabro, Pete Cipriano, Ivan Rothstein, Randi Steele (Operations Manager) and Allan H. Weiner. After twelve hours the Sarah was 3.5 miles off Long Island and the 5,000 pound anchor was dropped. On 28th July, the United States Coast guard and the FCC mounted a joint venture against Radio New York International. 05:30 the coast guard cutter Cape Horn was along side the Sarah and members of the coast guard illegally board the Sarah. FCC field agent Judah Masbach boarded the Sarah at gun point. Allan Weiner, Ivan Rothstein and a press reporter from the “Village Voice” newspaper were handcuffed and left in the sun for six hours while the studio and transmitters were dismantled. During the following months, the Sarah has undergone extensive refitting in Boston harbour.

On 16th July 1988, the Sarah attempted to leave harbour, but was prevented by the coast guard. A port order was served against the ship. Four days later, the Sarah left Boston harbour, just after midnight the ship anchored four miles off Long Beach, Long Island, New York. On 17th October the FCC asked district Judge John J Mc Nought to issue a temporary restraining order forbidding broadcasts to be made. 22:00 US officials on board a coast guard cutter attempted to serve the restraining order, permission to board the Sarah was refused. In December the Sarah was taken to Charleston, where she stayed for a long time.

Former Name(s)

Litchfield (Litchfield I)


Refrigerated cargo ship


168’ (51m)


409 tons



Flag state(s)

Reported to be Honduras, but actually Panama. Later the Principality of Sealand

Ultimate fate

Scrapped after being used in the film ‘Blown Away’ in 1993


Offshore radio station:

Radio New York International from 23rd to 28th July 1987 and from 15th to 18th (?) October 1988

Location: International waters off Long Island, New York (USA)