The Caroline Buoy-O-Boy

During the nineteen-sixties George Hare was the on-shore liaison man for Radio Caroline North. Among his other jobs, he made sure the DJs and engineers were paid, fed and looked after. He also cared about their safety.
 
With this in mind, George made a deal with an Isle of Man company to manufacture some buoyancy jackets which could be used by the Caroline North crew. The Caroline “Buoy-O-Boy”, as it was called, was also advertised on air and sold as a safety aid for sailors.
 
Around fifty years later, George presented an original Buoy-O-Boy jacket to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.


George Hare and the Caroline Buoy-o-boy
 
George Hare, right, presents the Caroline Buoy-O-Boy to your webmaster. Photo by Ursula Barrett-Hughes.
 
George Hare and the Caroline Buoy-o-boy
 
George Hare and your webmaster with the Caroline Buoy-O-Boy. Photo by Chris Payne.
 
The Caroline Buoy-o-boy
 
The Caroline Buoy-O-Boy.
 
The Caroline Buoy-o-boy
 
A close-up of the label on the Buoy-O-Boy.

 

George Hare says: “I have memories of this very type of jacket been shown on TV's Tomorrow's World with Mark Shaw the inventor demonstrating it in the swimming pool in Dolphin Square with an anesthetized female child in order to show that the wearer always bobs up with their head above water. ‘Health & Safety’ cry your heart out!”
 
The Nicki Clothing company, which manufactured and marketed the Buoy-O-Boy, was dissolved in 1981. We asked if anyone could provide more information about the Buoy-O-Boy, or the company, and Mike Leonard of the Offshore Radio Museum kindly sent us these leaflets, issued by Radio Caroline during the sixties:



 


If anyone can add to the Buoy-O-Boy story, please get in touch.
 
With grateful thanks to George Hare and Mike Leonard.


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