Kowloon = Shanghai Moon

The "Bacardi Project" also went under the name of "Project Moon" based on the former name of the ship. In 1987, Worldwide Broadcast Consultants (a company which included Paul Rusling) was contracted to install a complete AM radio station into a ship for a US born Bahamian resident. They advised on the sourcing of a ship and the various associated radio equipment, including a Nautel 100,000 Watt AM transmitter and two 400,000 KVA Caterpillar generators. Installing the transmitter, generators and building studios was carried out in a dock in Port Everglades, Florida (between Miami and Fort Lauderdale). The ship was then taken to Freeport harbour on Grand Bahama, for further work on the ship to be carried out. Two full studios and a newsroom were installed. The studios had a state of the art automation system made by RCS installed by Rusling, whose family moved to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island for almost a year at the time.

Due to activities by the British Department of Trade and Industry, it was decided to wait and see what reaction was to a relaunch of Laser. The crew of 7 plus a team of 8 disc jockeys/engineers were kept on full pay for over 6 months by the wealthy owners, and were put up at the 5 star Xanadu Hotel. They were joined at various stages by several pop business moguls who were suspected of involvement and a former member of the Beatles, who is a well-known radio afficionado. In 1988 however, the owner was advised by lawyers in London to not advertise his drinks in this manner, and the ship and equipment was moth-balled. Crew and DJs received handsome pay-offs and a promise of further work if they promised not to discuss the station. Rusling used his profits to set up one of the first full colour newspapers in England and to expand his WBC business into Germany and the Netherlands.

In 1996, Worldwide Broadcast Consultants discovered that the ship and equipment had been sold to a well known British multi-millionaire, James Goldsmith, who planned to use the ship and radio station to transmit political propaganda to the UK to support his bid to get the UK to hold a referendum on the question of joining the European monetary Union. The ship was moved to Halifax Nova Scotia where further work was done on the transmitters by former Nautel staff and a sophisticated system of communications built in, which would have permitted live inserts to broadcasts by Goldsmith from wherever he was in the UK using the (then very new) digital GSM cellular telephone network and a satellite link to the ship. Worldwide Broadcast Consultants denied that they were directly involved in the operation of the ship, but had advised on some work done in Canada. (WBC were at the time involved in setting up a station on 828 AM in Holland for Veronica/Nozema as well as licensing work with Virgin Radio and could not be seen to be involved with such a political station).

Eventually, senior members of the Conservative party in the UK heard of the plans and it is suspected they and sympathisers in Canada prevented the ship from sailing in time for it to participate in the UK elections, which the Conservative Party lost. The transmitters were removed from the ship in 1998 and part of them were used for a radio station in Buenos Aires.

Planned offshore radio station: GOLD AM - 711 kHz AM (named for Bacardi Gold) and Referendum Radio (for UK Referendum Party)

Planned location: International waters approx 22 miles NE of North Foreland, by the Galloper light. Flag and a licence for the projects were issued by provided by Liberian Consul.


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