Alberto Silva (Argentina)

Born 26 February 1945 in Buenos Aires province.

High School Technical Radio operator
LPD radio operator from 1964 to 1968.
Argentine Federal Police Telecommunication officer from 1968 till 2002.
International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, Member and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Information Technology from 1987 to 2002.
Retired as General Commissioner in 2002.
Amateur Radio LU1DZ/AY1DZ since 1962


The Whale of the Caribbian Sea

Many years ago I started my radio job at LPD, the old coastal radio station at Buenos Aires, after having been educated in the Technical High School where I have studied everything about Morse, radio techniques, propagation, weather, geography, electronics, etc.

As a new and young radio operator, the supervisor told me to transmit telegrams, using RTTY. (Telex over radio) The CW room, however, remained just a dream for some time.

It wasn’t until 1965 when the oldest man in charge in the CW room asked me to handle some traffic on 22 MHz with distant ships. After having more experience in CW, I worked on 16, 8 and 4 MHz, but 500 kHz was still off limits for me. That was only for the best operators.

After a while I observed a very funny CW communication in the telephony room. One of the SSB operators heard a SOS call on 16 MHz. It was a very clear CW transmission coming from "Buque Motor Ballenita", a ship under Panamanian flag, well known by LPD.

He started the usual emergency procedures and everybody came close to him to follow the news about our friends in difficulty.

The Ship CW message said, "We have problems with a whale".

"My Lord, they have a collision with a whale...!!!", we said

"We are in the Caribbean Sea …"

Bastian van Es (The Netherlands)

"Fish sticks" is in my opinion the best kind of fish, i.e. I mean to eat. The nicest thing is, it does not taste like fish and it does not resemble fish either. Sorry, but I did not grow up in a fishy surrounding. When I was a child we never had fish on the table, besides a small white fish that my father caught by accident in the canal behind our house that my mother fried in butter.

When I sailed as radio officer on a Norwegian ship, I was buried in fish. From morning to late in the evening there was fish on the table; dried, fried, stewed, pickled, boiled, etc.

I got sick of it and still do when I think of it. I also prefer not to talk about it.

It was in the beginning of the 1950’s and we had hoped to celebrate Christmas in Havana. After departing Kingston, where we had unloaded general cargo, we were asked to head for a small harbor on the south coast of Cuba for loading iron ore. I had never known that Cuba had iron ore mines and neither did the captain, because he looked weird while reading the telegram. But … there it was, and so it must be true.

That little harbor was not a harbor at all, merely an anchorage some hundred meters from the coast line. The coast seemed to be a paradise, snow-white beaches, softly waving palm trees, and with all this a temperature of about 30° C.

The iron ore mines seemed to be somewhere in the neighborhood, because after a couple of hours some lighters with rust brown earth in bulk approached. The dockworkers, who had to get that stuff into the holds, arrived on smaller boats.

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Was it you Sparks that had the nerve
to complain about the freshness of the fish?

Peter Volk (Germany)

born 1931 in Bunzlau, Schlesien,

mature 1949 in Leipzig. Afterwards apprenticeship as electrician in a mine south of Leipzig for two and a half years.
Study of twelve month as radio operator with radio certificate for fishing vessels at the Navigations School Wustrow, Fischland. Two years aboard as radio operator on trawlers of Fishing Company at Rostock.
In the years 1955/56 study as radio engineer with radio certificate 2nd Class and afterwards as radio officer aboard of merchant vessels of "Deutsche Seereederei Rostock" (DSR) in Mediterranean and in Far East region. Since 1959 radio certificate 1st Class and one year as radio staff of a passenger ship.
From 1961 to 1974 as radio inspector and afterwards as Specialist for radio and radio-navigation in the technical department of DSR.
Since 1990 retired.
Hobbies: bonsai and garden, swimming and cycling.
Since 1994 in board of radio club "Seefunk-FX-Intern e.V. Rostock"


US-Jet/WJUGA approaching
Rügen Radi/DHS

Daddy frost, so named in Russian areas, had Europe completely firmly in his grasp. According to statistics, wintertime in 1962/63 was one of the coldest winters of the last century. Even the greatest lake of Germany, the Bodensee in southern Germany had for the first time frozen over, and naturally nearly the entire Baltic Sea was frozen. Shipping was only possible with tugs and/or ice breaker assistance. About 10 to 12 ships of our own Shipping Company "Deutsche Seereederei Rostock," (DSR) and some foreign ships, were firmly enclosed by the ice masses in the roads of Wismar and Rostock ports . The cargos of these ships were needed urgently by the national economy of the GDR. Our own tugs were not able to break that the approx. 40 cm thick ice in the harbour and the roads.

All foreign icebreakers of Baltic Sea countries were already contractually bound and unavailable. The probability was that only our brother, the Soviet Union, could help. With government help, after approx. 8 days we had in Rostock port a Soviet icebreaker, which was loudly announced in the press, broadcast and television.

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