By Captain Justin Osmond RN, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.
To celebrate the competition’s tenth year, a display of stunning maritime photography will be mounted at the Museum from Friday 4 November until 5 February.
The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society – Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society for short – has supported seafarers, fishermen and their families across Scotland, and all areas of the UK, since 1839. We provide financial support to those who are suffering financial hardship and distress, whether it’s due to accident, ill health, unemployment or in retirement after a life spent working at sea.
As a national maritime charity, our purpose is to make a tangible difference to people’s lives across the UK. Each year we make grant payments totalling approximately £1.4m across around 2,000 cases, and were it not for the Society, the needs of those we support would likely go unmet.
Ten years ago, to help raise awareness of the Society’s work and the challenges facing the seafaring community, we launched our Maritime Photography Competition to find the UK’s Ultimate Sea View. The competition has become hugely popular and has played a valuable role in bringing the challenges faced by merchant mariners, fishermen and their families to an ever-wider audience, as well as allowing photographers to express their creativity while celebrating our country’s rich maritime heritage and enduring links with the sea.
Featuring ships, fishers, coastlines, harbours and ports, thousands of stunning images over the years have explored every aspect of the UK’s unbreakable bond with the sea, maritime history, and all things nautical.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022, the Ultimate Sea View competition has firmly established itself in the diaries of many talented photographers, both amateur and professional.
This year, we received more than 1,000 entries. The overall winner was Justin Minns for his evocative ‘The Old Oyster Beds’ image, a stunning aerial shot taken in Brightlingsea, Essex. The entry earned him a £500 prize voucher for photographic equipment.
Four category winners were also announced:
- Coastal Views: Andrew Hocking – ‘Unicorn’, taken in Godrevy, Cornwall
- People and Recreation: Jason Thompson – ‘My Playground’, taken on Skegness Beach
- Industry: Jonathan Killick – ‘Wind Turbines’, taken in Lincolnshire
- Ships and Wrecks: Justin Minns – ‘Scattered’, taken at Thames Estuary, Essex.
The competition was judged at Trinity House, London, in September, by a prestigious panel of photography experts. Online picture editor at The Telegraph, Neil Stevenson, picture editor at the i, Sophie Batterbury and former Sunday Times picture editor, Ray Wells, joined me to deliberate on a fantastic selection of shortlisted entries.
We agreed that Justin Minns’ winning photograph really encapsulated the beauty of Britain’s coastline and was particularly striking with the shipwreck in juxtaposition with the old oyster beds.
Each year we receive such a brilliant selection of images that we always think next year’s response cannot possibly surpass it. Yet, incredibly, each competition brings us photography of such high standard it makes the judges’ task that much harder every time.
With a strong commitment to supporting Scottish seafarers and their families, we were thrilled to be invited to mount a display of this year’s winning photography at the Museum. Celebrating the competition’s milestone year at such an important venue, showcasing our nation’s maritime past, present and future, was an opportunity not to be missed and we are very grateful for the partnership.
Our hope is that the Ultimate Sea View display will highlight the excellence of our winning photographers work and inspire many others to get involved in future years, whether young, old, amateur or professional, we hope the search for Britain’s Ultimate Sea View will continue for many years to come, whilst we acknowledge the huge contribution seafarers and the fishing community play in all our lives.
A huge thank you to everyone at the Museum who has made this happen and to all of those who entered the competition this year – hopefully, we’ll see you again in 2023.
You can see the 2022 Ultimate Sea View winners’ photographs displayed at the Dumbarton Scottish Maritime Museum from Friday 4 November right up until Christmas.
To view a full gallery of this year’s winning images, visit: https://shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/photography-competition/2022-ultimate-sea-views-revealed/. If you would like to donate to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s work, please visit: https://shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/support-us/donations/