Trinity House
Lightvessel no. 18

- lightship active from 1958 until 1995 -

Ship Data

Length o.a.: 133 feet (ca. 40.54 m)

Length: 114 feet (ca. 34.75 m)

Beam: 26.5 feet (ca. 8.08 m)
Draught: 12.5 feet (ca. 3.80 m)
Displacement: 525 t

Authority: Trinity House, London

Year of construction: 1957/8

Shipyard: Philip & Son, Dartmouth, Devon, England

Yard-No.: 1297

Price: 118,820 £, Profit: 8,163 £
Material: steel (riveted)
Crew: 9 men


November 1956

ordered by Trinity House, London

April 2nd, 1958


July 21st, 1958

handed over to Trinity House originally on St. Gowan station

1995 withdrawn from service

sold to Sea Containers Ltd. for use in a proposed marina development at House Creek, Harwich which did not go ahead


Since 1999 the lightship has been used for licensed offshore broadcasting as Radio North Sea International, Radio Caroline, Radio Mi Amigo and twice as Pirate BBC Essex in 2004 and 2007. On the latter of those occasions the station ran for a week on the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act, which made pirate radio illegal. On that occasion several of the original pirate broadcasters transmitted around the clock, with Johnny Walker, Dave Cash, Emperor Roscoe and others familiar to those whose musical memories came from outside territorial waters.

April 26th, 2001 Sea Containers Ltd. sold the lightship for 1 GBP to the Pharos Trust, which is restoring it at Harwich today

June 6th, 2008

LV18 has returned to Harwich after starring in a new blockbuster film. The tug MURIA towed it from Harwich to Portland for Frigate Films, which provides marine services to Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. Filming for the new Richard Curtis movie 'The Boat That Rocked' has been taking place in and around the Dorset harbour of Portland over the past 5 weeks. The movie is set on a pirate radio station in 1966, it charts a love triangle between two DJs, played by Kenneth Branagh and Rhys Ifans and an American girl, played by January Jones. LV 18 plays the rival station Radio Sunshine and has been partially repainted yellow for the film. The film was retitled "Pirate Radio" for release in the United States and Canada

May 12th, 2011

After almost two years of restoration the lightship has made its way to its new berth at Halfpenny Pier in Harwich today. The last manned Trinity House lightvessel will be open to the public as a museum lightship and major tourist attraction seven days a week in the summer months.

If anyone has news or nice pictures, I would be grateful for an e-mail.




Visitor address:
Halfpenny Pier
The Quay
Harwich, Essex

Entrance fees: