Our lovely new mast, all 162 feet of it, had come crashing down and was now hanging over the side of the ship. Chunks of broken insulators were flying about all over the place and shattering, with pieces of porcelain flying off like shrapnel. There was debris all over the deck, loose guy cables from the mast and the gleaming copper antenna wires whipping around all over.
I saw members of our crew led by the PD Roger Gale, who was leaping around to dodge the flaying cables. There was a bit of blood about too, as one of the crew had lost a finger while hacking at the steel hawsers to free the mast with a fire axe.
I witnessed Roger Gale hanging over the sides of the ship with an axe chopping at the cables in a gallant attempt to free the vessel from the mast; we were in real danger of being dragged over by the mast. Roger was in real danger of being swept away by waves which seemed determined to drag him, and the crew members holding on to him, into the icy waters of the raging storm.
One of the guy wires had wrapped itself around the propeller so we now had lost steerage and the Oceaan 7 was helplessly wallowing in the boiling cauldron of a real North Sea storm. We were certain that we were in danger of capsizing and sinking with the remains of the mast hanging overboard. It was causing our listing vessel to take on water and we all were in fear for our lives. The dream of great radio for Yorkshire was about to slip beneath the waves.
Yes, we owed our lives to Roger, to the captain and his crew who fought with their lives to save the ship and our dreams of RADIO 270 with freedom of speech for Yorkshire and music for the youth of the day.
Roger, the seamen and the captain were eventually able to disentangle the rigging and ditch the very expensive aluminium aerial mast into the raging sea. Once that was done, Bill Pashby was able to come along side and throw us a line so he could tow us into port. Due to the stormy weather, his cobble had been forced to stand off our port side about half a mile away while the battle with the mast was taking place.
With the tow line secured we were able to limp in to Scarborough harbour well-shaken, very tired and very depressed. We were all wondering if this was the end of the dream of RADIO 270, a local radio station for Yorkshire and great music for the young at heart.
Tony Uewtondale, the senior engineer at RCA Europe sent a letter to the RCA headquarters saying that neither he nor any of the European engineering staff would not ever again work to commission broadcast equipment at sea. It simply wasn't worth the lives of the RCA team.