The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has announced the winner of its ninth photography competition, showcasing images relating to all aspects of Britain’s relationship with the sea.
This year, the annual contest had more than 1,500 entries from amateur and professional photographers alike, with the judging panel awarding the overall prize to Michael Marsh.
His winning entry, The Fisherman’s Wake, was a stunning aerial shot of a fishing trawler taken in Whitstable, Kent, earning the amateur photographer a £500 ($691) prize voucher for photographic equipment.
In addition to the overall prize, winners were also named in four categories:
• Coastal views: David Dodds – St Mary’s Lighthouse taken in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, England
• People & Recreation: Jacky Pratt – Hopeman Happiness taken in Moray, Scotland
• Industry: Chris Mole – Old Rope taken in Newgale, Pembrokeshire, Wales
• Ships & Wrecks: David Stearne – Pinnace and Barges Rot in Their Graveyard in The Medway Mud, taken on the Hoo Peninsula, Kent, England
The competition was judged online on September 8 by the chief executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Capt Justin Osmond RN and three photography experts: Neil Stevenson, online picture editor at The Telegraph; former Sunday Times picture editor Ray Wells and i picture editor Sophie Batterbury.
The society, which provides financial support to former seafarers and their dependants, encouraged photographers of all abilities to submit pictures that captured the essence of Britain’s enduring connection with the sea, including merchant ships, fishermen, coast, harbours and ports.
Captain Justin Osmond said: “We thought that Michael Marsh’s winning image, The Fisherman’s Wake, really encapsulated the fishing sector, an area of Britain’s industry which has taken a significant hit due to Covid-19 and was particularly striking with the trawler being alone out at sea. We hope that next year – as we celebrate 10 years of the competition – is the best contest yet.”
At the start of the pandemic, the society launched a £1 million Covid response fund, supplementing the society’s existing annual grant expenditure, to support working maritime professionals affected by the pandemic.
The fund continues to be effective this year, with the charity’s applications for grants during this period more than doubling, highlighting how many livelihoods within the industry have been affected by the crisis.