Maritime Media Awards 2007

Professor Emeritus wins top Media Award

Maritime Media Awards Group Photo 2007

The prize for the top maritime media person of the year has been awarded to Brian Lavery, Curator Emeritus at the National Maritime Museum. 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 8th November which was attended by distinguished figures from the media and maritime world including the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope and Commodore Rajan Vir, President of the Indian Maritime Foundation.

Before presenting the Awards, Lady Mountbatten said: “In spite of decades of warning, the supply of skilled and experienced seafarers is now reaching a crisis point. Shipping is central to Britain’s interests and virtually every aspect of modern life depends increasingly on sea transport. Our economic prosperity is linked to the sea, and surrounded by it as we are, we are dependent on the Royal Navy to maintain the security of our trade routes.”

The Desmond Wettern Media Award

The Desmond Wettern Media Award was made to Mr Lavery as an author, broadcaster and adviser on major feature films, which have contributed to our understanding of the social structure of Britain’s maritime power and all maritime aspects of British national life.

Receiving the Award Brian Lavery said: “It is a great honour to be able to join such company who are dedicated to ensuring that Britain’s maritime industries are not forgotten. We are as much dependent on the sea for our way of life today as we ever were.”

The Mountbatten Maritime Prize

The Mountbatten Maritime Literary Prize was awarded to Andrew Welch for his superbly researched book “The Royal Navy in the Cod Wars” which explains the key interaction between the Royal Navy and all aspects of the UK’s maritime community which are too often forgotten. No events have illustrated these key connections more clearly than the conflict with Iceland.

Receiving the engraved silver Armada Plate, Andrew Welch said: “I am very honoured to be awarded this prize for a book which, I hope, shines some light on the lessons that can be learnt from a tough, but gentlemanly, series of minor wars fought in the unforgiving waters around Iceland.”

The Maritime Film and Documentary Prize

Nicholas Owen introduced the runners-up: Penlee Lifeboat Disaster and Trawlermen for the best Maritime Film and Documentary Prize. The winner of the Crystal Dolphin Trophy was Crispin Sadler for his television documentary series Deep Wreck Mysteries which brought to light new and important historical findings, distinguished by high quality direction, production and narration, and by a strong commitment to stimulating the widest possible audience interest in the maritime heritage of the United Kingdom. Receiving the Trophy Crispin Sadler said: “We are blessed by having so much of our maritime heritage preserved under the sea. Until now much of it has been too difficult to find, too deep to dive, and too dangerous to film. Thanks to advances in technology we can bring this hidden world of shipwrecks and their histories to a wide and appreciative audience.”

Special Recognition Awards were presented by Admiral Stanhope to Iain Ballantyne, Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review; Michael Critchley of Maritime Books; Richard Hargreaves of Navy News, Professor Andrew Lambert of Kings College London and Andrew Linington, Head of Communications at NAUTILUS UK, in recognition of their consistent and unwavering contribution to raising maritime awareness over the years.

The guest speaker was Commodore Rajan Vir IN and Lord Strathcona, Chairman of the Maritime Foundation, presided at the dinner.

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Notes to Editors:

  • Brian Lavery was born and educated in Scotland. He worked as a teacher before turning to maritime consultancy and curatorship. He is currently Curator Emeritus of Ship Technology at the National Maritime Museum and a renowned expert on the sailing navy. He has published many books including Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men and Organisation 1793-1815, an international best seller; Churchill’s Navy: The Ships, Men and Organisation 1939-45; The Island Nation: A History of Britain and the Sea; River Class Frigates and the Battle of the Atlantic and Shield of Empire: The Royal Navy In Scotland. Contacts: National Maritime Museum 0208 312 6700; John Lee at Conway 0207 605 1400
  • Andrew Welch was educated at Uppingham and joined BRNC Dartmouth in 1968. During the second Cod War he served on the frigate HMS Charybdis. Since retiring after 35 years in the Royal Navy, he has done much walking and boating. As an author The Royal Navy in the Cod Wars is his first book to be published. For further information contact Michael Critchley at Maritime Books Tel 01579 343663
  • Crispin Sadler has produced and directed award-winning films all over the world – many with underwater themes – for the BBC, Discovery Channel, PBS and TVNZ. He is currently working on the ‘Deep Wreck Mysteries’ series for ITV, Alliance Atlantis and ZDF about shipwrecks lying in more than 150ft off the UK coast. By pushing the limits of what can and cannot be filmed by divers, at depths that most would not venture, in some of the more challenging diving conditions in the world, he has opened up a whole new world of filming opportunities. His previous film ‘Running the Gauntlet’, the story of the sinking of HMS Manchester, blazed a trail in filming at depths out of the reach of normal filming activities. For further details, please contact James Garrett at ITV West Tel 08448 812321 e-mail
  • The Indian Maritime Foundation was established in 1994 by former officers of the Indian Navy and Indian Merchant Marine. Its main objectives are to promote awareness on all aspects of Indian maritime interests and to rekindle maritime consciousness and pride among the children and youth of India. It publishes a quarterly journal SEAGULL which reports on India and International news and issues of current interest. Further information is available at IMF President e-mail
  • The Maritime Media Awards are arranged annually by the Maritime Foundation 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. After completing twelve years, Gillian Wettern retires as organiser of the Awards dinner. No decisions have yet been made by the Foundation on future arrangements for the Awards.
  • The sponsors of the Awards include the The Gosling Foundation, Swire Group, BAE Systems, Lloyds Register, The Chamber of Shipping, The Daily Telegraph and The Wettern Trust. For further information, please call Anthony Harvey, Secretary at the Maritime Foundation on 020 7928 8100 / or Cdr Mark Durkin at News Navy on 0207 218 3258 /
  • The web sites and photographs can be found at and

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A selection of photos from the Maritime Media Awards 2007. More photos are available from the Maritime Foundation’s Flickr Photostream.

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