Pat Danton Formerly of London land-based pirate (now licensed) Radio Jackie, Pat read the news on Radio Caroline for a month in June/July 1986. Can anyone provide more information about him?

click to hear audio Pat Danton reading the 1pm news on Radio Caroline, 18th June 1986. The voice at the beginning of the clip is Peter Philips. Our thanks to Hans Knot for the recording and to Wim Willems for bringing it to our attention (duration 2 minutes 11 seconds).

Jeff Davis Jeff Davis The last DJ to join Laser-558, Jeff's first show from the North Sea was on 14th October 1985. He grew up in St Louis, Missouri and studied at the Broadcast Center of St. Louis. While he was at college, his parents moved to Tucson, Arizona. After graduating he joined them and got his first job in radio there, at 93.7 KRQ, where he worked with Blake Williams. Jeff recalls: “He was a part time DJ but had an engineering license. Somehow he heard about Laser early on and left to provide his engineering expertise to help put Laser on the air. A year later he returned and shared his stories and photos. It was good timing as I was looking for a new venture. His interesting tales intrigued me. He told me they were looking for new talent so I took the opportunity to send a demo tape. Within two months I was on my way to Laser.” Jeff was with the station until it closed down on 5th November 1985. He remembers the end of Laser-558: “Over a short period of time we lost five of our six generators. One morning one of our engines threw a rod. It was one of the loudest noises of crashing metal I have ever heard. We had to hand pump oil into the engine for hours. Each of us took turns pumping the lever up and down over and over again. When we were down to our last generator with no parts scheduled to arrive the captain made the tough decision to head to port. If that last generator had failed we would be dead in the water. You may recall the coverage of our ‘surrender’ on television. There were police boats, DTI personnel, and helicopters following us all the way in to Harwich port. The plan was to appear to be giving up but trying to secure parts and get right back out. When we arrived Customs agents boarded the ship and searched with their drug sniffing dogs. Nothing was found. When they were done they asked for each of our autographs. The next day when we met with the Immigration official after giving us a 30 day visa (rather gracious considering we were enemies of the government) he, too, asked for our autographs. It was an ironically humorous experience. We stayed in a hotel in Rochester, Kent for two weeks hoping for a chance to get back out. It never happened and we, sadly, were provided tickets to head home. After I got home I continued to work with KRQ but started doing more commercial production than on-air. After writing and producing for a number of years I took a job as Creative Director at an advertising agency in 2000. A year into it I was offered an on-air position I couldn't turn down. I stayed in radio for another seven years then got back into advertising by forming an agency with a friend. We were doing well until the recession hit. We hung on through 2009 but I ended up drifting on to my own doing voice work and production as JD Creative Services. I have since been working with CBS Radio, I did some audio engineering for NBC TV and continue to do voice work for cable TV, ad agencies, etc., while writing and producing commercials for radio.” (There is more information on Jeff's website. Many thanks to him for his assistance and this photo. There are more pictures from his time on Laser-558 here.)

click to hear audio Jeff Davis on Laser-558, lunchtime on 2nd November 1985. This is an edited version of a recording posted by Vincent on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 3 minutes 56 seconds).

James Day James Day A merchant seaman as well as a broadcaster, James had met Radio Caroline DJ John Lewis while both were working at Irish pirate station ABC Tramore. James joined Caroline on 1st May 1985. His last show in that stint on board was in the early hours of 28th July. He later worked aboard the Communicator as ship's captain and was heard occasionally anonymously on Laser Hot Hits. On 24th January 1988 he returned to Caroline. His last show was on 26th April 1988. Since then he has been heard on satellite station EKR, Medway FM, Channel Tunnel Radio and Red Sands Radio. (This photo kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine. There are more pictures of James in Paul Graham's photo album.)

click to hear audio James Day opening his afternoon show on Caroline-558 at lunchtime on 24th January 1988. The newsreader is Steve Conway (duration 3 minutes 5 seconds)
click to hear audio An un-named James Day on Laser Hot Hits, during the evening of 7th December 1986. Both clips are taken from recordings posted on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum by Vincent. Our thanks to him (duration 3 minutes 12 seconds)

Robbie Day had previously been heard on Radio Atlantis and helped to operate the Caroline Roadshow (see entry in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’). In the eighties he was involved behind the scenes of Laser and operated the ‘Laser-lover and Communicator Roadshow’. The Caroline Movement Bulletin reported that he was heard reading the news on Radio Caroline on 29th September 1984. The Pirates' Cove website heard him reading the news on Laser-558, also on the 29th. We asked if one of them was wrong or did Robbie really broadcast on both stations on the same day. John Burch of the Caroline Movement has got in touch. He tells us that he was on board a tender which transported Robbie between the Ross Revenge and the Communicator on the 29th and he thinks it is quite possible that Robbie did read the news on both stations that afternoon. He now runs oldies station Radio Atlantis.

Laser-558 merchandising
Laser-558 merchandise price list. Click to enlarge.

Michael Dean Michael Dean was the steward on the mv Communicator, the home of Laser-558. He made his first appearance on air, reading a recipe, on 10th August 1984 and he broadcast occasionally from then on, usually on the late night Mariners' Hour. He was last heard on the station on 23rd April 1985. He later moved to Luxembourg with David Lee Stone. His Laser-558 photo album can be found here. (This photo taken by Hans Verbaan, kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine.)

click to hear audio Michael Dean in the early hours of 13th March 1985 on Laser-558. Earlier chief engineer Mighty Joe Young had presented the 9pm-midnight show. Michael is being assisted by Charlie Wolf. This is an edited version of a recording posted by Vincent on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 3 minutes 55 seconds)

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The site is updated regularly and we are always on the look-out for new material to add. If you have any information, photographs, recordings or contact details for any of the disc-jockeys we haven't been able to trace, please get in touch.

Paul Dean Paul Dean Although born in America, Paul had lived in the UK for some years and had previously broadcast on Radio Northsea International as Paul May (see entry in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’). In 1984 Laser-558 began broadcasting from off the Essex coast with an all-American crew. When some of the original team pulled out, a replacement DJ was urgently needed and Paul joined them on 26th May 1984. Although a more than adequate substitute, the station bosses thought he sounded too English after years of living in Norwich so he mainly worked on the production side, filling in on air when required. Paul has very kindly sent us a few memories of his time with Laser:
1) “The day I had the phone call from (station boss) Roy Lindau, hiring me, I was told to report to an address in Whitstable, Kent. I took the train from Norwich to Kent and was met at the station by someone called John(?). I had to share the seat with a cardboard box full of bank notes - the smallest I saw was a fifty. John told me he had to make five trips to the banks so as not to raise any suspicion! We went into this bungalow. The kitchen table was piled with money and I was told that the Irish backer had made a deposit for running the operation for two months. I was transported to the Isle of Sheppey and put on the tender ready to head to the Communicator. We were laden down with fuel, water and food. At this point I met (engineer) Mighty Joe Young. He filled me in on who was who, what to expect and what on-air shift I was to have. We arrived alongside the Communicator around midnight. The crew off-loaded supplies and the tender slipped off around 2.30. I was shown my cabin, the studios and, with a cup of tea, met all the jocks. lt was a very friendly meeting. Jessie Brandon was the one who took charge, and seemed to have it all under control. I did enjoy her on the air. In the morning David Lee Stone asked me if I would like to swap my afternoon shift for his mid-morning show. I said ‘‘Yea I felt more comfortable at that time’ but I was called to the captain's quarters and questioned if I was really an American, because my accent had changed over the years of living in England. I showed him my passport and he said I could go on the air but by that time Stoner had started his show. So I missed out doing mid-day. I would have liked that!”
2) “There were a couple of funny times on board with the on-air staff. I was going to be reading the news for David Lee Stone. This was normally read by the person who followed the current DJ on the air. I popped in to see Dave and we talked about the chart songs that were on rotation so I could see what song I had coming up in my opening hour. We were allowed to move them around a bit, but not too much as Jessie would get upset. The first song on the list was Only You by the Flying Pickets - a very slow song. I asked Dave to play it himself and save an up-tempo song for me to play at the top of the hour. He agreed but added that that song would put him to sleep. I went to prepare the news, then went back to the on-air studio to present it. When I walked into the studio there was dead silence. Dead air. Stoner was sound asleep and had been for over 2 minutes. I shook him. It was like he was waking from the dead. I asked him what had happened. He just said he'd fallen asleep and, sure enough, in the cart machine was the last record played, you guessed it, The Flying Pickets! Dave was laughing so hard, he had to leave the studio as I read the news.”
3) “Around the fourth week Captain Tim said he was suffering from cabin fever and mentioned that he was taking the rubber boat out for spin. He was going to take two of us at a time. Ric Harris and I, along with (crew member) Chico and Tim himself, set off and had a wild time. We went alongside Caroline and it just felt good to be off the boat. We were heading back and came alongside the Communicator to change personnel when the outboard motor packed up. I was holding onto the rope ladder, hanging on for dear life, when Chico slipped against me and knocked the ladder from my hands. With that the tide took our little boat for a very quick ride. Before we knew it we were swept out of sight of the Communicator. By this time it was getting very cold and the sun had all but gone. We had been adrift for well over an hour. We could see the Kent coast about 3 miles away. Out of the darkness we were approached by a fishing vessel. They pulled up alongside us. Pulling us on board, they asked if we wanted to go ashore or back to the radio ship. You know the answer. Once back on the Communicator we learned that there had been a major sea search for us. Captain Tim invited the fishing crew for drinks in his quarters. We gave them a tour and supplied them with T-shirts.”
Paul's last show on Laser-558 was on 28th September 1984. He was later involved with the launch of the station's successor Laser Hot Hits, where he was Operations Manager. He was also heard on air on that station during December 1986. After a time living in Florida, Paul is now back in the UK. (With many thanks to Paul for sharing his memories. This photo is from Leendert Vingerling's Laser Scrapbook.)

click to hear audio Paul Dean opens up Laser-558's Breakfast Show for a Sixties Sunday in August 1984. Recording kindly provided by Hans Knot (duration 3 minutes 27 seconds)
click to hear audio Paul Dean battling a force 10 storm on Laser Hot Hits during the morning of 15th December 1986. Shortly after this, the station closed down. It was to remain silent until Boxing Day. This is an edited version of a recording posted by Vincent on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 4 minutes 5 seconds)

Paul Deckland A member of the last on-air team on Radio Caroline at sea, Paul's first show was on 22nd October 1990. His last was on 4th November 1990, the final full day of broadcasting from international waters. We asked if anyone could provide more information and a correspondent called Charizmo got in touch to tell us that Paul (under a different name) went on to present a weekly album programme on a Fen station called X-Cel FM in the late 90s and likewise on Affinity, a short lived DAB operation from Cambridge in around 2011/2012. (Thanks to Charizmo for his help.)

click to hear audio Paul Deckland on the Breakfast Show on Radio Caroline's final full day of broadcasting from the high seas, 4th November 1990. This is an edited version of a recording posted by Vincent on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 3 minutes 28 seconds)

Mike Dixon Mike Dixon Born in London in 1961 to Welsh parents, Mike's family moved around and at various times lived in South Wales, Crewe, Central Scotland and the North Midlands. After completing his schooling, Mike worked in the newspaper industry, mainly in the advertising and circulation fields, but also found time to edit Offshore Echo's magazine. Bored by his newspaper job, in 1987 he joined the Mediterranean offshore station, The Voice of Peace, where he was known as ‘Mike Davis’. He had acquired the nickname ‘Coconut’ when he was a teenager. He says: “I had been sunbathing and was quite heavily tanned, especially around my face. I also only shaved every few days, and my hair was always cut very short. One of the guys I worked with said he thought I looked a bit like a coconut one day.” Mike make the fatal error of mentioning this story on air - and was known as Coconut from then on. He transferred to Radio Caroline on Christmas Day 1987 and was there for the next couple of years. His nickname followed him. After Caroline, Mike completed a course in desktop publishing at Sheffield College and since then has worked as a freelancer for various firms and agencies, as well as being a director of Renegade Publishing Ltd who published a magazine for Atari computer users for three years. He also produced two radio-related magazines, Anoraks' Monthly and Playback. He is still interested in radio and can be heard on Radio Seabreeze where he hosts a weekly programme of Northern Soul music. There are some excellent photos from his time on Caroline as well as features on other hobbies and interests on his website. (This photo of “Coconut” with a coconut is from Offshore Echo's magazine. Editor Chris Edwards says: “I took the coconut out as a joke on one of our visits to the Ross Revenge. Naturally Mike was photographed with his namesake. I believe the coconut - the real one - was later added to a curry.”)

click to hear audio Mike Dixon on Caroline-558, Sunday afternoon 27th December 1987, soon after joining the station. This is an edited version of a recording available from Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 1 minute 36 seconds)

Mike Dundee Mike Dundee An Australian, born in New South Wales, Mike trained as a motor mechanic after he had finished school, then bought into a boat-building business in Queensland. In the mid-eighties he came to Britain and was working in a pub in north London where he met some of the Radio Caroline crowd. The pub was just over the road from a business owned by Radio Caroline's General Manager Peter Moore and had become the main hang-out for the station's on-shore support team. Interviewed in Offshore Echo's magazine, Mike said: “I was working in the pub and Tom Anderson and ‘Cosmic’ (Andy Johnson) were doing the job of running the ship and coming to the pub all the time. I got to know them and one day in autumn '87 there was a job out there that they needed doing (fixing a fault with one of the generators) that I had the particular skills to do and they asked me if I'd like to go on a one-off trip to the ship.” Mike continued to help the station behind the scenes, carrying out various tasks including, for a time, organising the station tenders. He also occasionally read the news on Caroline. His first bulletin was on 18th June 1988. He took his on-air alias from the character in the movie Crocodile Dundee played by Paul Hogan. Mike has now returned to Australia. (Photo by B.Dom from Offshore Echo's magazine. Thanks to Paul Graham and Chris Edwards for their help. There are more photos of Mike in Chris Cooper's photo album.)

John Dwyer John Dwyer A former cook and DJ on Radio Atlantis (see entry in The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’), John had also been heard on a number of Liverpool landbased pirates and the Voice of Peace in the Mediterranean. He was on Caroline from the end of May to the end off December 1986. For twenty years he operated a radio station in Ibiza every summer, Sunshine 101, aimed at tourists. He also organised the Radio Caroline North tribute station which broadcast to Merseyside from the lightship LV23, berthed in the Albert Dock in Liverpool, in April 2014. John attended the Radio Caroline North 40th Anniversary Convention on the Isle of Man in September 2008 (picture here) and Caroline's 45th birthday party in March 2009 (pictures here). (This photo shared on Facebook by Niek Wortel.)

click to hear audio John Dwyer finishing his 9am-1pm show on Caroline-558, Tuesday 1st July 1986. This is an edited version of a recording available from Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 4 minutes 7 seconds)

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