The End of the Radioship King David


On December 12th 1999 reported from Israel:

Would you believe it ? After four years of the Channel 2000's boat being off the Tel-Aviv coast without one single photo being taken of it, and after Martin and I published the first ever photos of the King David as a radio ship, the Hebrew daily "Yediot Achronot" published a colour photo of the ship on its middle pages today along with this facinating article:


The ship is not lit, and endangers shipping that pass by it. The crew on board denied shipping officials to board the ship.

A new hazard off the Tel-Aviv coast: A mysterious ship is anchored there, and is causing a hazard to shipping that pass by the area at night because the ship is not lit up. The ship is anchored six kilometers from the coast, and the Transport Ministry checked out to who the ship belongs to. They found out that the ship is registered as the "King David" and flies the Panamanian flag. On the ship are just a few crew members.

What they did not manage to find out was who are the ships owners? They suspect that the ship was once used to house a pirate radio station, and its mysterious owner plans to sink the ship off the Tel-Aviv coast. This action, say the Transport Ministry, is against the Israeli and international law . The depth of the water is only thirty meters where the ship is anchored, and if the ship is scuttled there, passing ships could collide with it.

The shipping and port authority of the Transport Ministry, along with a police escort, went out to the ship to see what is going on with the vessel, but the crew did not let them on board, even though this is against the law (the ship is in Israeli waters: MB ).

Head of the Authority, Arie Rona, turned to the Transport Ministries legal adviser, so that they should act together with the police. The officials will probably return to the ship together with a large police contingent, and if again they are denied access to board the ship, they will board by force.


Should I tell the authorities who the ship belongs to ?


On January 6th 2000 Mike came with the following news item:

King David runs aground

The King David, the ship that housed the former Arutz 2000 offshore radio station, ran aground in heavy storms that hit Israel yesterday. In a picture that appeared in the Hebrew daily "Maariv", there was a picture that was printed with the caption "fishing boat runs aground on the Tel Baruch beach". It was with a collection of pictures that were printed to show the damage the storm caused in and off Israel.

After looking at the "fishing boat", I noticed that it looked familiar, and after looking at the picture a little closer, was convinced that it was the King David. I could make out the lightship tower, (which had thick cables coming from it, and there was no antenna!), and the guard rails on the back of the ship. Add to this, the rust that was so evident when Martin and I went out to the ships in November, showed up in the colour picture.

The ships antenna must of been ripped off of its base, and the ship ran aground on a Tel-Aviv beach. I have written to the editor of Maariv to inform him of the true identity of the "fishing boat" that ran aground.

So at the begining of a new century / milennium, the world has only one fully operational true offshore radio station - Arutz 7 - which, despite all the bad weather, continues to broadcast as normal.


On January 13th 2000 Mike took the following pictures:

The sad end of the radioship King David

On Thursday January 13th I took the following pictures of the radioship King David (formerly housing Arutz 2000) that had run aground at Tel Baruch beach on January 5th 2000. Another boat that didnīt fulfill the dreams...






Paul Rusling commented: Faint chance she is salvable however, but beam-on to the beach like that suggests potential problems. The ships are designed to "take the ground" however and skeletal structure doesnīt usually result from such accurences. I note from the damage to paintwork at the two emergency anchor slots that they must have been using those and not the main anchor hole. Certainly not a good idea in a storm and one reason she probably turned wrongly and came "off the hook". Why oh why donīt these operations use proper mariners?!


On Tuesday September 5th 2000 RadioVisie reported:

Last week the Israeli officials towed the King David (the former light vessel No.3 used as a radioship by Arutz 2000) from the beach off Tel Baruch to a secure place in the open sea to let it finally sink... So the sad end of another offshore radio ship has come.


Two days later, Mike Brand reported:

After seeing the report about the former Arutz 2000 boat the "King David" being towed out to sea to be sank, I was asked to confirm the report written by Herbert Visser and Hella Van Der Kuij on the RadioVisie website. As much as I know Herbert and Hella, they would not put their names to anything unless it was really true,and I had no reason to doubt their report. Hella lives here in Tel-Aviv,so I'm sure she confirmed Herberts report before it was printed.

I can also confirm it. I was at the Tel Baruch beach this morning, and sure enough the ship is not there. After speaking to a couple of people in and around the beach area, it seems that the ship was towed out to sea about 12 days ago and left to sink. I am trying to find out more details from local reporters etc, and if I find out anything new, I will be in touch.

After a small search through the newspaper archives, I found that this was published in the English edition of the Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday 30th Aug:

Shipwrecked "King David' towed from Tel Aviv beach

By Anat Cygielman

The "King David", a ship that was used as a pirate radio station and was swept ashore in a storm off the Tel Baruch beach north of Tel Aviv nine months ago, was on Monday towed out to sea and sunk at a cost to the state of hundreds of thousands of shekels. The ship was a safety hazard, with children climbing aboard it and diving into the water. The police were unable to locate the owners of the vessel. The work of towing and sinking the ship was carried out by the Shipping Authority in conjunction with the Environment Ministry.



Back to Israeli Offshore Radio

Back to The Offshore Radio Guide


Impressum & Datenschutzerklärung