MRD History

I feel sure that the five of us – Alfredo, Guiliano, Olivier, David, and Rolf – can really celebrate MRD or as it started TEN YEARS ago this year (2022) as International Maritime Radio Day. For such an event to have taken place and grown to its present position in the amateur radio calendar annually for 10 years is a tribute to all the ex-Radio Officers and Marconists that have taken part. I do not know if any of us really thought that MRD would become the truly international event where we can demonstrate our expertise and professionalism on the air, even occasionally confusing other amateurs with QSA/QRK! I am so pleased that our initial contact has resulted in MRD, and I will be at my Portishead Radio Console to celebrate our tenth anniversary. The five of us who started MRD wish all who take part this year a very enjoyable day – Alfredo/ IK6IJF, Rolf/DL9CM, Guiliano/I1SAF, Olivier/F6DGU † and David/G3PLE

Following the true story until the Maritime Radio Day has been founded, many thanks to OM David/G3PLE…

The History of Maritime Radio Day
In 1998 arrangements were made for the UK Radio Officers Association to set up an amateur station at the Portishead radio receiving station with the aim of recognising and reviving the UK and Irish Coast Stations by inviting them to set up amateur stations at or near the site of their stations. Some 26 stations were set up to operate on a Coast Station weekend on 10th and 11th April 1999. News of the event spread rapidly, and the name was changed to the International Coast Station Weekend with 106 stations taking part worldwide. With 24 hour watches some 600 operators took part making over 50,000 QSOs. The event was well received by ex-Radio Officers/Marconistas. The Radio Officers Association journal QSO published an idea for a Portishead Trophy based on the Coast Station Weekend with the idea of an event on the last weekend in April with Coast Stations, silence periods and last ship callsigns. This was thought to be too complex and probably would not work. The basic idea was taken up by Olivier/F6DGU and he gathered together on e-mail a truly European group of ex Radio Officers and radio amateurs Alfredo/ IK6IJF, Rolf/DL9CM, Guiliano/I1SAF, and David/G3PLE and the first Maritime Radio Day took place it did try to include silence periods, but these were either ignored and dropped in future events. In those early days, the founding group were concerned that our efforts were thwarted by contests and poor propagation. For several years MRD has been run by with Rolf DL9CM issuing fine certificates to participants. Maritime Radio Day in 2022 has grown and instead of registered participants barely filling a single page the number now exceeds 160 and the day is more like a day and a half and coast stations, and ex Radio Officers come from every continent and it is an international annual event.
April 17th by David, G3PLE