THIS is the stunning image which helped Petty Officer Sean Clee win his third Royal Navy Photographer of the Year award.
Taken off the coast of Libya earlier this year, the dramatic shot shows HMS Cumberland’s Lynx helicopter flying precious humanitarian aid between two ships.
PO Clee was aboard HMS Westminster when he captured the ‘perfect’ picture almost by accident.
‘It was sunset and just as I was aiming my camera HMS Cumberland sailed into view,’ he said. ‘It was a perfect moment when everything came together.
‘You always want your pictures to be seen by as many people as possible, to let the public know what life is like out there.
‘In Portsmouth we are lucky because we can see the navy up close, but for the rest of the UK it’s far more rare, so we do an important job.’
Based at Whale Island, PO Clee, 43, took the title after his collection of images was singled out as the best in the fleet.
The helicopter shot also won him the Maritime Air Prize, and he picked up the Royal Navy Video Production Award for his moving footage filmed in Afghanistan.
‘It’s fantastic to win this award for a third time,’ he said.
‘I’ve been a photographer for 11 years and I still enjoy it as much now as when I first started.’
Based at the Fleet Photographic Unit in Portsmouth until earlier this month, PO Clee’s honours at the Peregrine Trophy awards were for four images taken during Operation Ellamy off the coast of Libya earlier this year. He was also the winner in 2007 and 2008.
The Peregrine Trophy is awarded each year to the ship’s company who produced the best six-photo portfolio.
In a poignant decision, this year it was awarded to the navy’s now decommissioned flagship, HMS Ark Royal. Also recognised were Leading Airman Kyle Heller, Leading Airman Aaron Hoare, Leading Airman Jason Ballard and Leading Airman Ian ‘Simmo’ Simpson.