A SERIES of stunning images have been revealed as the winners in a national competition to find the best photograph of the sea.

National maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, has announced the winner of its eighth annual photography competition, showcasing images relating to all aspects of the UK’s historic relationship with the sea.

In a recording-breaking year of more than 2,000 entries, the judges awarded the overall prize to Laurence Hartwell for his entry, ‘Beam Trawlers Landing To The Fish Market At Night’, which shows trawlers with their catches at the fishmarket in Newlyn, Cornwall. The image won the amateur photographer a £500 prize voucher for photographic equipment.

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

• Coastal views: Caroline Walker – ‘Heugh Breakwater’, taken in Hartlepool, County Durham.

• People & Recreation: Katie Vincent – ‘Into the Mist’, taken in Lancing, West Sussex.

• Industry: Stephen Duncombe – ‘To The Rescue!’, taken in Cromer, Norfolk.

• Ships & Wrecks: Ian Butler – ‘Mylor Harbour’, taken in Mylor, Cornwall.

Among the pictures which were named as 'highly commended' was a capture by Somerset Camera Club member, Liam Holley, for a shot of the Startpoint Lighthouse in Devon.

Picture editor at the i, Sophie Batterbury; former picture editor of the Sunday Times, Ray Wells and chief executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Captain Justin Osmond, identified the winners during the competition’s judging process, which took place virtually on September 16.

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, harbours and ports.

The charity encouraged people to look back through their photo albums and submit archive images to avoid unnecessary travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Captain Osmond said: “We were blown away this year by the sheer number of entries for the competition and the outstanding quality of images on show.

"This year has been a challenging year for many, so it has been fantastic to see everyone come together and celebrate our coastline, our memories of the sea and those working there.

“Laurence Hartwell’s winning image, ‘Beam Trawlers Landing To The Fish Market At Night’, was almost poetic in the story it told.

"It symbolised the fishermen, logistics and transport workers who continue to work tirelessly through night and day for our benefit and especially in a year where our reliance on the maritime and fishing industries has been highlighted even further.

"We hold this competition to raise awareness of the work we do in the seafaring community and to unify our supporters across the UK with a love of photography and the sea so on behalf of the Society, I wold like to thank all those who entered the competition and we look forward to seeing next year’s entries!”

Earlier this year the Society launched a £1m Covid response fund, supplementing the Society’s existing annual grant expenditure of £1.4m, to provide support for working maritime professionals impacting by the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity’s applications for grants during this period has more than doubled, highlighting just how many livelihoods within the industry have been affected by the crisis.

Find out more about the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society at shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

Below are the winners of the competition, along with those who were highly commended:

Overall Winner:

Laurence Hartwell – Beam Trawlers Landing To The Fish Market At Night

Somerset County Gazette:

Category Winners:

Coastal Views:

Caroline Walker – Heugh Breakwater (Winner)

Somerset County Gazette:

Liam Holley – Startpoint Lighthouse Devon (Highly Commended)

Somerset County Gazette:

People & Recreation:

Katie Vincent – Into the Mist (Winner)

Somerset County Gazette:

Thomas Salway – Findhorn Beach (Highly Commended)

Somerset County Gazette:


Stephen Duncombe – To The Rescue! (Winner)

Somerset County Gazette:

George Hodgson – Bringing In The Catch (Highly Commended)

Somerset County Gazette:

Ships & Wrecks:

Ian Butler – Mylor Harbour (Winner)

Somerset County Gazette:

David Jenner – Under The Stars (Highly Commended)

Somerset County Gazette: