Harwich’s historic pirate radio ship is set to return to the airwaves for a major celebration of Radio Caroline despite being hit by a devastating suspected arson attack last month.

The LV18 ship - featured in the pirate radio movie The Boat that Rocked - was damaged in a fire at Harwich Quay on February 2.

The incident was one of three fires in the town that night, which saw nine fire crews and about 60 firefighters called into action.

The boat had only recently launched a community radio station onboard after investing “a lot of money”.

A spokesman for the LV18 said: "Following great team efforts our radio station Radio Mi Amigo returned to the ‘air’ 15 days after it was silenced.

"We’re using a temporary studio and don’t have all the equipment up and running but we are able to broadcast a selection of our shows via our web stream."

It is hoped the actual studio will be up and running again to celebrate the 60th anniversary of former pirate radio station Radio Caroline this Easter.

As part of a fundraising campaign to restore the ship on behalf of the Pharos Trust, Heather O'Neil, said: "Money is being raised to restore this historic light vessel museum, the last of her kind.

"This much loved visitor attraction in the town of Harwich suffered a devastating fire but she is determined to come back fighting.

"The Pharos Trust had just launched her 24/7 radio station this Christmas and wants to get back to it in time for the 60th anniversary of Radio Caroline this Easter."

The “national” celebration is also set to involve BBC Essex alongside the community radio station.

The vessel has already been assessed by a highly qualified marine surveyor and insurance assessor, with cleaning and restoration originally being planned for the start of March.

Once the decision on insurance is finalised which should be in the next week - work itself on the restoration should only take “about nine days” meaning the event on March 30 can go ahead.

A campaign to raise £25,000 on behalf of the Pharos Trust, which owns the boat, has already raised £6,000 towards the repairs.

Christopher Parker, 33, of Alexandra Street in Harwich was charged with arson in relation to the incident.

He will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, March 5.