THE ITF Seafarers’ Trust announced the winning photos of its 2023 Life at Sea photography competition.

The project, launched in 2020, aims to open a window the experiences of seafarers and their vital, often-unnoticed role in the global economy.

Seafarer John Robert Maraño received the £1000 first prize for his photo 12 Degrees, taken on a ship drifting off Fremantle.

“We think of the floor as solid, but seafarers will tell you that aboard a ship the floor is very movable,” competition judge Paddy Rodgers said.

“The pendulum in the background of the image shows the swing of the ship, that it’s not a trick, that the photographer is doing something quite clever with the angle of the camera.”

Second prize was awarded to Mikael Cesar Bureros for his photo Converging Forces, an image of a containership about to be engulfed by a sandstorm blowing out of Egypt.

“In the realm of the seafarer, the unpredictable forces of nature are both familiar and formidable,” Mr Bureros said.

“When a sandstorm sweeps across the land, a mesmerizing battle between land and sea unfolds. The swirling maelstrom of sand mirrors the ceaseless waves that test the prowess of seafarers.

“Like the turbulent ocean, the sandstorm brings forth a symphony of chaos and challenge, where wind and sand merge in a dance of elemental power. Yet amidst this tempestuous encounter, the seafarer’s spirit remains unyielding.

“Drawing upon their seafaring instincts, they navigate through the chaos, relying on their honed skills and resilient resolve. In this captivating clash of land and sea, the seafarer’s indomitable spirit shines through, a testament to their unparalleled courage and unwavering determination to conquer nature’s most formidable storms.”

Third place and highly commended photographs include an image of a fishing boat taken from the deck of an oil tanker, a photo titled Woman, you belong! and a rescue at sea and a tank inspection.

Life at Sea 2023 is the fourth seafarers’ photography competition organised by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust. The photography project collection now contains some 8000 digital images and captions.