Sep 3, 2015

Shipwrecked Mariners' Society reveals UK's ultimate seaview

The winners of a national photography competition to find the UK’s best sea view have today been announced by one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities, and Acceleris client, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

With a flood of entries from across the UK, the overall winner was Bernie Pettersen, an ex Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, for his photo Smooth Harbour, which captured a storm crashing into the Bickford-Smith Institute clock tower building in Porthleven in Cornwall (see above).

The competition was judged aboard the Cutty Sark in London, by a prestigious panel of media and maritime experts, including the picture editor at the Sunday Times, Ray Wells, the head of pictures at the Independent, Sophie Batterbury, the editor of Amateur Photographer, Nigel Atherton, and the chief executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams.

Winners were also named in five categories:

  • Recreation category: Bernie Pettersen – Cornish Seas taken at Praa Sands
  • Ships and Shipwrecks category: David Jenner – Wrecked taken at Hoo Marina
  • Coast category: Rory Trappe – Llanddwyn Ponies taken in Llanddwyn
  • Industry category: John Roberts – Fisherman Dawn taken in Ballycotton
  • Judges’ category: Lee Acaster – At The Edges taken at Shingle Street

The competition was run from the Charity’s website,, and across social media, with participants entering photographs they believed best encapsulated Britain’s coast, seafarers, and the sea; whether in relation to the work of fishermen, merchant mariners, or wildlife and seascapes.

Bernie’s prize, as overall competition winner, kindly donated by P&O Ferries, is a five-day return crossing from Dover to Calais. The category winners will receive an engraved Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society barometer.

On the winning image, Sophie Batterbury said: “The overall winning picture for all of us summed up very much our Country’s relationship with the sea and how sometimes it can be very strong and violent towards us and yet we just sit and watch and wonder at its mighty power.”

On the judge’s choice image, Nigel Atherton said: “This photograph is a great exercise in minimalism,by stripping out all of the extraneous and unnecessary detail from the picture, and keeping a very simple composition.”

On the overall quality of the photography, judge Ray Wells said: “These photos express our love affair with the coast and the sea in all its extraordinary variety and this competition is a challenge to all photographers to bring that to life.”

Malcolm Williams said: “The important thing about the photography competition is to raise awareness among the general population of how much we rely on the sea and those who work with it every day.

“The competition has run for three successful years now, with an increase in participants every year, and once again this year’s entries were of a very high standard. It was a hard task to pick the winners, but thanks to the professionalism of our judges, who really know what makes a good photo, we were able to narrow it down to a selection of images which we feel truly encapsulate our nation’s enduring connection with the sea.”

The Charity, which celebrated its 175th anniversary last year, provides financial support to retired merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants in need, and also to those injured or too ill to continue working at sea.

In the last year the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society handled 650 new applications for assistance and distributed £1.4million across 2,200 cases of need.

The Society produced a special video of the judging process, which can be viewed here.

Also you can like the Society at or follow @ShipwreckedSoc