Fundraiser & Special Shows

We streamed a special live show from our ship on Sunday 23rd June 2024 presented by Garry Lee, with guests. Many thanks to all who tuned in and sent us messages during the show! We discussed, for the first time, the arson attack on our ship , studio damage, the court case and our recovery.

As announced during the live show, coming up on Saturday 29th June is an all day fundraiser (in aid of our recovery fund) at Hotbox, Chelmsford. Tickets

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Donations are being sought to support the full restoration of this historic vessel.

Our next scheduled live studio event is scheduled for 9-11 August 2024. Guests and schedule will be released closer to the time.

Emergency Services & Veterans

The Pharos Trust appreciates the exceptional work that the emergency services provide, especially the exceptional support from Essex Fire Service and Essex Police during and after our devastating fire.

As a token of our appreciation we would like to extend free entry to the ship to all serving or retired emergency services and armed forces personnel, including reserve personnel and those serving in a voluntary capacity.

We do not require a Blue Light or Veterans Card, all that we ask is that you can show us confirmation of your current or past status.

Thank you.

The phoenix rises

The arsonist who nearly destroyed the LV18 was jailed by a judge in Chelmsford on 7th June 2024

On the evening before the court proceedings were concluded we lit the LV18’s lantern. The phoenix has risen.

If you would like to help us continue the restoration of the LV18, following the arson, please visit our crowdfunder appeal:

D Day 80 – the lantern works!

Following 2 days of intensive work by our volunteers, the electrical connection to the LV18’s lantern was returned to full use on 6th June 2024, which coincided with the 80th anniversary of D Day. A beacon was being lit in a nearby park at 2115 that eve, and all vessels were asked to sound their horns; with these repairs done, the LV18 was able to join in.

Jeff Welch (JW Shipping Photography) shot a great video of the event with his drone (Facebook video)

One of our volunteers shot this short video – Beware the HORN!

This week’s repair work, which returned our lantern to full use, cost time and money. If you can help us, please donate to the ship’s restoration fund

We’re back!

The LV18 will be open for visitors from Saturday 25th May, returning to our customary hours of 11am to 4pm.

Visitors are welcome to come aboard the LV18, walk around the deck and go down below to see how the lightvessel crews lived during their months at sea. There’s also a history of pirate radio and examples of radio over the last century.

Most of the vessel is open to the public apart from a small area which is still undergoing refurbishment.

Please note that the ship was not built for those who need additional accessibility.

Our enforced closure was due to the disastrous arson on 2nd Feb. The clean up that followed has also delayed our normal winter maintenance activities – a few of these remain so please bare with us!

We welcome donations to our restoration fund


Since the devastating fire back in February, on board Lightvessel 18, (the home of RADIO MI AMIGO), We still need to raise more funds in order to have enough to get the restoration work completed, as well as replace some of the lost historical artefacts of the 1900’s, as well as vintage radios & other rare maritime items.

So if you can make it that day (29th June 2024 in Chelmsford), not only will you be filling your ears with some top Festival bands, you’ll also be helping our cause, to fully restore the LV18 and keep RADIO MI AMIGO ON AIR! 😉

Garry Lee

Tickets :

Companionway progress

The clean-up continues on the lower deck and the main companionway/gangway will be next for the red floor paint treatment. The mid/aft section of this companionway (first photo) was just outside the worst fire damaged area.

Several of the doors along here were damaged by the heat. The worst of these will need to be replaced but the remainder will bear the scars of the arson damage.

Cleaning and restoration continues

Our professional contractors have now left the ship after making the worst areas safe for us to access, with caution! Cleaning and restoration now continues with the help of our volunteers. One key mark of the progress we’re making was when we painted the floor in the forward compartment area during the past few days. This area suffered heat and smoke damage but thankfully was spared the fire. Painting the floor is truly the last step in restoring the space to normal use, although we do have to wait for it to dry thoroughly!

The paint in question is a special marine paint from Akzo, and PPE was necessary given the enclosed space.

A new page, After The Fire, has been started on this site to mark our progress in restoring the ship. New content will be added as we hit more landmarks.