UK’s ultimate sea views revealed!

Posted: 19 September 2023 Posted In: Photography Competition

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, has announced the winners of its annual photography competition, showcasing images relating to all aspects of the UK’s historic relationship with the sea.

This year, the charity’s annual competition received more than 1,000 entries from amateur and professional photographers alike, with the judging panel awarding the overall prize to Ian Watkin for his entry, ‘Can someone please let me out now’, an incredible close up shot of a juvenile Whiting fish trapped inside a Compass jellyfish, taken in Harlyn Bay, Cornwall. The image won the photographer a £500 prize voucher for photographic equipment.



In addition to the overall prize, winners were also named in four categories:

  • Coastal Views: Richard Thomas – ‘Mousehole Harbour from above’ taken in Mousehole, Cornwall
  • People and Recreation: Clive Bount – ‘One minute to the gun’ taken in Cowes, Isle of Wight
  • Industry: Shaun Hykel – ‘A night in port’ taken in Felixstowe, Suffolk
  • Ships and Wrecks: Darren Cottrell – ‘Dorset wreck’ taken in Dorset

The competition, supported by headline sponsor North Atlantic Fishing Company, was judged at Trinity House earlier this month by a prestigious panel of photography experts, with picture editor of the i, Sophie Batterbury, and former Sunday Times picture editor, Ray Wells joining Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Capt. Justin Osmond RN.

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, coastline, harbours and ports.

Captain Justin Osmond said, “As we are now in the eleventh year of the photography competition it is amazing to see the nation still enjoying our coastlines and supporting our maritime industry with a passion. Our seafaring community continues to face significant challenges every year despite the outstanding contribution it makes to our lives, so it is important that we are able to use the competition as a platform to acknowledge and celebrate our maritime industry and ensure that those working within it have access to vital support.

“We thought that Ian Watkin’s winning image, ‘Can someone please let me out now’, was such an incredibly striking image, and really like nothing else we’ve seen before in this competition. It encapsulates the uniqueness in Britain’s relationship with the sea and its wildlife, an area of the industry which can often be forgotten, but was particularly interesting to the judges – and definitely an ‘Ultimate Sea View’. As always, 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 2024!”

Phil Haslam, Managing Director at North Atlantic Holdings Ltd, added:

“We are proud to have been able to support the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society this year as the headline sponsor of the annual Ultimate Sea View photography competition. The charity’s mission is close to us as part of the maritime sector, and sponsoring this year’s competition further endorses our commitment to support the industry, and the people who are vital to its future.

“Every year, the competition gets stronger and stronger, and this year is no different with a brilliant turnout. There was a wonderful selection of entries and as we have operated our fleet at North Atlantic since being established in the UK in 1984, it is great to see so many other people celebrating our country’s rich maritime heritage.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society supports fishermen, merchant mariners and their dependants who are suffering financial hardship, whether due to accident, ill health, unemployment or in retirement after a life spent working at sea. A total of £1.3 million was paid in grants during the past year in over 1,200 cases of need.