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RAYNET History

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RAYNET has its origins in the UK east coast floods of 1953.  The Coastal Radio Station was flooded.  Gales reached force 10.  Ships received no reply to Mayday calls - until some radio amateurs broke their radio licence rules and replied.

307 people died in the UK.  1,836 died in The Netherlands.  28 died in West Flanders, Belgium.  High tides plus a storm caused sea levels to increase by 5.6 metres (18.4 feet) at some coastal locations on the North Sea.  230 people died on trawlers, ships and boats.

UK sea defences were breached.  Over 1,600 km (1,000 miles) of UK coastline was damaged.  30,000 people were evacuated.

Some coastal towns were under deep flood water.  Mains electricity and telephones were out of action.

Disaster relief work requires good communications to co-ordinate resources and manpower.

Radio amateurs decided to assist.  They provided ad hoc short and long range radio communications as needed.

Obviously, better organisation was required after the floods ended, to prepare for future disasters.  RAYNET was formed.

UK TV Channel 4 Video - 3 Minute Wonder - Preparing For The Worst

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Page updated on 09 January 2017

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