Maritime Media Awards 2006

Mr Nelson wins top Media Award

Maritime Media Awards Group Photo 2006

The prize for the top maritime media person of the year has been awarded to Dr Colin White. He received the Desmond Wettern Media Award, an engraved ships decanter and a cheque for £1,000, from Countess Mountbatten of Burma, President of the Maritime Foundation, at a dinner on board the MV Silver Sturgeon on 9th November which was attended by key figures from the media and maritime world including the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band.

Before presenting the Awards, Lady Mountbatten said: “We must keep reminding ourselves – Britain is an island nation dependent on the sea for its economic well being and security. Shipping is central to Britain’s maritime industries and virtually every aspect of modern life in this country depends on sea transport. As we know at least 98% by weight of raw materials and supplies still come and go by ship, and the maritime industries are an integral part of our economic wellbeing and security.

The Desmond Wettern Media Award

The Desmond Wettern Media Award was made to Dr Colin White for being the most visible spokesman of the Britain’s maritime interests and for his major contribution in masterminding the Trafalgar Bicentenary programme which so gripped the British public. At the height of last year’s celebrations he was dubbed ‘Admiral Lord Nelson’s representative on earth’ by the media – he was also Chairman of the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee which co-ordinated many of the special events.

After receiving the Colin White said: “Winning this award puts the seal on what was a truly wonderful year for me. I am a great supporter of the work of the Maritime Foundation and hope that, with their help, we can continue to remind Britain of the vital importance of the sea – as we did so spectacularly last year!”

The Mountbatten Maritime Prize

The second Award, The Mountbatten Maritime Prize, was made to Nicolette Jones for her superbly researched book “The Plimsoll Sensation” and a most apt reminder of Britain’s maritime heritage and influence worldwide, which has made such a major impact on the general public by being serialised on BBC Radio 4.

Receiving the engraved silver Armada Plate, Nicolette Jones said: “Samuel Plimsoll aroused a great deal of passion about the plight of merchant seamen and I could not bear his – and their – story to be forgotten. I was keenly conscious that if I was going to tell this tale, I had to work very hard on my research to get it right. To receive recognition in such distinguished company means more to me than I can say”

The Maritime Film and Documentary Prize

Rob White, senior ITN producer and first winner of the Desmond Wettern Award, introduced the new Award for the best maritime Film and Documentary, the Crystal Dolphin Trophy. The first winner was Andrew Thompson of BBC Scotland for his documentary reconstruction of the dramatic rescue of the crew of the Russian submarine Priz deep in the Pacific Ocean off Siberia.

Receiving the Trophy, Andrew Thompson said: “What we tried to do in the film was to tell a modern day adventure story where viewers might well know the outcome but would still be gripped by all the difficulties and challenges that the Scorpio team had to overcome in Russia. I also hoped that the viewers would be impressed by the sheer professionalism and energy of the Royal Navy / Fisher Rumic submarine rescue team.”

Lord Strathcona, Chairman of the Maritime Foundation presided at the dinner.

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Notes to Editors:

  • Dr Colin White, FSA, FRHistS, MA, was appointed Director of the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in June 2006, having joined the Museum as a Research Assistant some 30 years ago. From 2001, he spent 4½ years on secondment to the National Maritime Museum as Director, Trafalgar 200 and chaired the Official Nelson Celebrations Committee. He is the author of several books on 18th and 19th Century Naval history, the most recent being Nelson: The New Letters (Boydell and Brewer, 2005) and Nelson The Admiral (Sutton, 2005). Further information from Julian Thomas, Development Manager, Royal Naval Museum, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3NH, Tel No 02392 727567 Fax No 023 9272 7575
  • Nicolette Jones is a writer, broadcaster and literary journalist who has worked for all the national newspapers and the book trade press. Brought up in Leeds, she was educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and at Yale University where she was a graduate Henry Fellow. The Plimsoll Sensation: The Great Campaign to Save Lives at Sea is her first solo book. Her interest in the story of Samuel Plimsoll was triggered by moving into Plimsoll Road in North London eleven years ago. Published by Little Brown Books Further information from Hattie Hinton on 0207 911 8917
  • Andrew Thompson is an award winning BBC TV producer and director. He has worked on a wide range of science and history documentaries, including Horizon and Timewatch. He is now based in BBC Scotland in Glasgow. Further information from Carole Reid on 0141 338 2306
  • The Awards are made annually in memory of the late Desmond Wettern, writer on maritime affairs for over thirty years. They commemorate his single-minded dedication to the belief that the United Kingdom’s economic wellbeing and security are inextricably bound up with the sea and to encourage publicists and writers to draw attention to this linkage.
  • The sponsors of the Awards include the Swire Group, BAE Systems, the Chamber of Shipping, Lloyds Register and The Wettern Trust.
  • For further information, please call Anthony Harvey, Secretary, The Maritime Foundation on 020 7928 8100 / or {Sue Lloyd} in the Defence Press Office on 020 7218 3258 /
  • The web sites and photographs can be found at and

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A selection of photos from the Maritime Media Awards 2006. More photos are available from the Maritime Foundation’s Flickr Photostream.

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