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Stunning award-winning photos celebrate man's connection with the sea

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society competition winners
(Image credit: James Gunn)

UK charity the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society has announced the winners of it photographic contest. The Ultimate Sea View competition showcases images that demonstrate the UK’s enduring relationship with the sea. This year the annual competition received over 1,500 entries from both amateur and professional photographers.

The judging panel awarded the overall prize to Michael Marsh for his entry, The Fisherman's Wake, showing a stunning aerial shot of a fishing trawler taken in Whitstable, Kent.

Michael Marsh was the overall winner of the competition. He won with this photograph that resonated with the judges. The image won the amateur photographer a £500 prize voucher for photographic equipment (Image credit: Michael Marsh / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

The competition, now in its ninth year, was judged virtually on 8 September by a prestigious panel of photography experts, with Online Picture Editor at The Telegraph, Neil Stevenson, joining former Sunday Times Picture Editor, Ray Wells, Picture Editor of the i, Sophie Batterbury and the Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Capt. Justin Osmond RN.

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 ten years of the competition – is the best contest yet and on behalf of the Society, I would like to say a massive thank you to all of those who entered this year and hopefully we will see you back again in 2022!”

In addition to the overall prize, winners were also named in four categories: Coastal Views, People & Recreation, Industry and Ships & Wrecks.

David Dodds St Mary's Lighthouse, taken in Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, won in the Coastal views category (Image credit: David Dodds / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

Jacky Pratt's Hopeman Happiness, taken in Moray, Scotland, won in the People & Recreation category (Image credit: Jacky Pratt / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

Chris Mole's Old Rope, taken in Newgale, Pembrokeshire, won in the Industry category (Image credit: Chris Mole / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

David Stearne's Pinnace And Barges Rot In Their Graveyard In The Medway Mud, taken on the Hoo Peninsular, Kent, won in the Ships & Wrecks category (Image credit: David Stearne / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

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 the UK’s enduring connection with the sea, including merchant ships, fishermen, coast, harbors and ports.

"As we are now in the ninth year of the photography competition, it’s brilliant to see the same level of enthusiasm and to be receiving the same fantastic standard of images as when we first launched the competition almost a decade ago," said Captain Justin Osmond. "This year, whilst the difficulties associated with the pandemic seem to be receding, there are still many challenges facing the seafaring community and the competition gives us a great platform to acknowledge and celebrate our maritime community and ensure that those working within it have access to vital support."

Ian Finlayson's Evening Cast was highly commended in the Coastal Views category (Image credit: Ian Finlayson / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

James Gunn's Wave Rider was highly commended in the People & Recreation category (Image credit: James Gunn / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

Tom Collins's LPG Anker ‘Bayamo’ Leaving the River Tees and Passing the EDF Teesside Wind Farm was highly commended in the Industry category (Image credit: Tom Collins / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

Susan Pilcher's Fairchance of Stars was highly commended in the Ships & Wrecks category (Image credit: Susan Pilcher / Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society)

At the start of the pandemic, the Society launched a £1m Covid response fund, supplementing the Society’s existing annual grant expenditure, aiming to provide support for working maritime professionals impacted 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 just how many livelihoods within the industry have been affected by the crisis.

If you are in the position to donate to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, you can do so via the Society's website.

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