Maritime Media Awards 2020 winners announced at virtual presentation

The Daily Telegraph’s Alan Tovey has won this year’s prestigious Desmond Wettern Award for Best Journalism.

The broadsheet newspaper’s Industry Correspondent was honoured with the top award for his understanding and perceptive reporting of marine matters, and for his achievement in making complex issues easily understandable to a wide audience.

I’m immensely proud to win this prestigious award,” said Alan, “and look forward to continuing to report on this vital sector of industry, on which the UK, as an island nation, depends. There is always a high level of response from Telegraph readers to reports on the maritime sector, and I appreciate how well they understand just how crucial it is to the UK, even if that’s something not always recognised by Government.”

The judges faced a challenge in selecting the winners from over 100 nominations for the four main awards, which honour the best achievements of journalism, literature, film making and innovative use of digital media in promoting Britain’s interests across the maritime sector, and in raising public awareness of current maritime issues.

Richard Clayton, Chairman of the Awards Committee said: Alan stood out this year for the way his writing puts the maritime sector into the broader context of the whole industrial supply chain. His insight into complex stories is impressive and engaging. He is a worthy winner of the Desmond Wettern Award.”

Constrained by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 25th annual Maritime Media Awards were presented online from HQS Wellington – one of the last surviving convoy escorts from the Second World War and home to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners – at its permanent mooring off London’s Victoria Embankment.

Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry CBE presided over the pre-recorded ceremony from the elegant setting of the ship’s Court Room.

Scott Hanlon, Clerk to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners said, “It is wonderful to welcome back the Maritime Media Awards and we are delighted to have the Maritime Foundation on board to support our shared aim – to make HQS Wellington, with its unique heritage and location, a focus for Britain’s maritime affairs.”

The Desmond Wettern Fleet Award was received by Lt Cdr Michael Hutchinson RN, Commanding Officer of HMS Tamar, on behalf of the ship’s company for their outstanding participation in raising the profile of the Royal Navy through a series of high-profile events, and for making full use of both traditional and social media at every opportunity.

The California-based Schmidt Ocean Institute ( won The Babcock International First Sea Lord’s Award for Best Use of Digital Media for its state-of-the-art website, which brings the life of the deep oceans, and the Institute’s pioneering research and technological innovation, to the public. Certificates of Merit were awarded to Mayflower 400 ( and to Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City (

The Donald Gosling Award for Best Television or Film Production was awarded to Chris Terrill and his team at Uppercut Films for the BBC Two series Britain’s Biggest Warship: Goes to Sea, which captured all the key moments from the first tour of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Certificates of Merit were awarded to Aaron Schneider for Sony Pictures’ feature film Greyhound, and to Alex Raw at Blast! By the Sea for BBC Two’s Saving Lives at Sea.

The Mountbatten Award for Best Book was won by David Abulafia for The Boundless Sea: A Human History of The Oceans, encompassing the human use of the sea from the earliest seafaring societies to the present day. Certificates of Merit were awarded to John Goodlad for The Cod Hunters, a history of the Shetland cod fishery; to Alex Rogers for The Deep: Hidden Wonders of Our Oceans and How We Can Protect Them, and to Stephen Taylor for Sons of the Waves: The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail. A Certificate of Merit for Best Illustrated Book was awarded to Mark Redknap, Sian Rees and Alan Aberg for their beautifully produced Wales and the Sea: 10,000 Years of Welsh Maritime History.

In concluding the presentation, Chris Parry added: “As we head towards 2021, we look forward to continuing to project and promote all elements of our maritime sector and community as part of our vision of a Global Maritime Britain. Consequently, we intend to develop our new home in HQS Wellington as a major hub and home for all those who have an interest in Britain’s future at sea”.  

For 2021, pandemic permitting, the Maritime Foundation plans to host the annual dinner and presentation of the awards once again at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London.

The latest edition of the Maritime Foundation’s annual magazine, Maritime 2020, is available in digital form online, or printed copies can be ordered for the cost of postage and packing.

View the online awards ceremony here
Read the full list of nominations here
Read/order Maritime 2020 here

 Notes to editors:

  • The Maritime Foundation established the Maritime Media Awards in 1995 in memory of Desmond Wettern, former naval correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.
  • HMS Tamar is the latest (Batch II) 90m offshore patrol vessel to enter service.
  • The Maritime Foundation’s purpose is to promote Britain’s interests across the entire maritime sector and to raise public and parliamentary awareness of Britain’s dependence on its maritime industries, commerce and defence for its economic wellbeing and security.
  • Details of past winners can be found at

Further information about the Maritime Foundation is available at
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