Naval leaders and British peers gathered in London tonight (November 12) for the Maritime Media Awards honouring the best of British maritime literature, journalism and filmmaking in 2015.
More than 150 guests attended the Institute of Directors for the 20th anniversary of the awards.
It saw the Desmond Wettern Media Award for best Journalistic Contribution handed to Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE for challenging infractions of the UN Law of the Sea Convention by various countries. In a wide range of publications and conferences around the world Rear Admiral Parry has championed the rights of innocent passage and the vital message that the sea is the facilitator of globalization and the key medium for exchange.
The Mountbatten Award for best Literary Contribution – the Man Booker Prize for maritime – was awarded to Professor Barry Gough for Pax Britannica, a history of the British Empire between 1815 and 1914 illustrating the immensity of Britain’s global ambition and the controlling influence of the Royal Navy.
Meanwhile, the Donald Gosling Award for best Television Contribution was presented to National Geographic and Windfall Films, for the documentary ‘Raising the Costa Concordia’ (full list of winners in notes to editors).
Presentations were made by Vice Admiral Duncan Potts at the annual event set up in memory of former Daily Telegraph naval correspondent Desmond Wettern. Maritime Foundation and judging panel chairman Julian Parker OBE said the event celebrated excellence in the British maritime media and arts sectors.
“The Maritime Media Awards has become an event of national significance, acknowledging remarkable maritime related work which deepens understanding of Britain’s dependence on the sea,” he said. “This year’s nominations have revealed the exceptional talent that is contributing to our awareness of maritime issues. This is a great necessity as Britain remains firmly dependent upon the sea for its imports and exports, fisheries, leisure activities, offshore oil extraction and defence.
“The awards were set up in recognition of the campaigning journalism of the late Desmond Wettern, whose name has strong resonance in the Navy and across the maritime sector. It first started with just two awards for journalism and Navy fleet media. They now embrace four other categories covering the best maritime literature, television programmes and digital media, as well as a lifetime achievement award for outstanding service to the maritime community.”
Professor Barry Gough’s comprehensively researched book Pax Britannica – Ruling the waves and keeping the peace before Armageddon – considers colonization, not simply as a matter of force but also effective administration. Key themes include the application of new industrial technologies, the rule of law, missionary work with its belief in God, education and hope as prime movers in the struggle to abolish slavery supported by trade and the largest merchant fleet the world had ever seen.
National Geographic and Windfall Films outstanding documentary ‘Raising the Costa Concordia’ provides an illuminating insight into the relentlessly complex challenges faced in the long, high-risk process of lifting the vast ship safely from the reef on which she was impaled.
Meanwhile, the First Sea Lord’s Digital Media Award was presented to The National Museum of the Royal Navy website for its presentation of naval history and heritage.
The Maritime Foundation’s Maritime Fellowship Award was presented to Professor Alastair Couper for his pioneering contribution as Professor of Maritime Studies at Cardiff University to maritime education and research. He was further commended for a career devoted to supporting the mariner both through the Seafarers International Research Centre and Seafarers Rights International.
Finally, the Maritime Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to media presentation was awarded to Chris Terrill for his dedication and skill in presenting front line film, particularly relating to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines.
Mr Parker said: “We receive tremendous support from a wide cross section of people within the British maritime sector including academics, media, peers, politicians and senior Royal Navy officers and members. They have all helped to make this landmark occasion, in the awards’ 20th year, a terrific success.
“The Maritime Foundation takes great pride in organising the event. We are a passionate charity driven to promote Britain’s interests across the entire maritime sector. Our purpose is to inform and raise public and parliamentary awareness of the importance of Britain’s maritime industries, commerce and defence. We do this through education, training and research projects in addition to the Maritime Media Awards.”
The Maritime Media Awards Judging Committee includes a panel of 17 eminent maritime personalities.
Notes to editors
Maritime Media Awards 2015 winners:
Mountbatten Award for best Literary Contribution
- Winner – Professor Barry Gough Pax Britannica
- Certificate of Merit – Charles W Johnson Ice Ship – The Epic Voyages of the Polar Adventurer FRAM
- Certificate of Merit – Professor Alastair Couper and Bruno Ciceri Fishers and Plunderers – Theft, Slavery and Violence at Sea
- Certificate of Merit – Stewart Gordon A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks
- Certificate of Merit – Brian Lavery Nelson’s Victory – 250 years of War and Peace
- Certificate of Merit – Eric Kentle Cutty Sark – The Last of the Tea Clippers
Desmond Wettern Media Award for best Journalistic Contribution
- Rear Admiral Christopher Parry CBE
Donald Gosling Award for Best Television Contribution
- Winner – National Geographic and Windfall Films – Colin Campbell and Farne Sinclair – Raising the Costa Concordia
- Certificate of Merit – 360 Production for Channel 4 – David Starkey and Denis Minihan Lusitania – 18 Minutes that changed the World
- Certificate of Merit – Wildfire Television for Channel 5 – Philip Clarke and Sian Price The Boats that Made Britain.
Desmond Wettern Fleet Award – handed to the HM ship, submarine, Naval Air Squadron or Royal Marine Unit that is judged to have made the best contribution to a positive image of the Royal Navy.
- Winner – HMS Bulwark – Cdr Gavin Edward RN
Maritime Fellowship Award – to honour an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to stimulating public engagement in maritime issues.
- Winner – Professor Alastair Couper
Maritime Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award
- Winner – Chris Terrill
First Sea Lord’s Digital Media Award
- Winner – National Museum of the Royal Navy – Dr Dominic Tweddle and Matthew Sheldon
- Certificate of Merit – J P Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race – Peta Stuart-Hunt
- Certificate of Merit – Nautilus International – Debbie Cavaldoro
Maritime Media Awards
- 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the Maritime Media Awards set up in memory of former Daily Telegraph naval correspondent Desmond Wettern.
- There have been many notable winners at the Maritime Media Awards across the decades. An early recipient was renowned maritime journalist Michael Grey back in 1998. Captain Richard Woodman was honoured in 2011 for his landmark series of books charting A History of the British Merchant Navy.
- Other notable winners have been Professor Nicholas Rogers for his authoritative book The Command of the Ocean and Professor Callum Roberts for his campaigning thesis on Sea of Life. More recently Dan Snow was commended for his outstanding television series Empire of the Seas and Rose George for her illuminating book Deep Sea and Foreign Going.
- Last year saw the introduction of a brand new category – the First Sea Lord’s Digital Media Award which was won by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for its outstanding website.
The Maritime Foundation
- The Maritime Foundation is a charity promoting Britain’s interests across the entire maritime sector. Its purpose is to inform and raise public and parliamentary awareness of the importance of Britain’s maritime industries, commerce and defence through education, training and research, as well as through the Foundation’s annual Maritime Media Awards.
- The Maritime Media Awards were established in 1995, in memory of Desmond Wettern, former naval correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. The Desmond Wettern Media Award was initiated to give recognition to those journalists who do most to create public awareness of maritime matters. The Awards have since grown into a national event
- Across the decades there have been many notable and worthy winners. An early recipient was renowned maritime journalist Michael Grey back in 1998. Captain Richard Woodman was honoured in 2011 for his landmark series of books charting A History of the British Merchant Navy. Other notable winners have been Professor Nicholas Rogers for his authoritative book The Command of the Ocean and Professor Callum Roberts for his campaigning thesis on Sea of Life. More recently Dan Snow was commended for his outstanding television series Empire of the Seas and Rose George for her illuminating book Deep Sea and Foreign Going.
A selection of photos from the Maritime Media Awards 2015. More photos are available from the Maritime Foundation’s Flickr Photostream.