MSDS Marine Awards 2020

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MSDS Marine are pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the MSDS Marine Grant Awards. The Awards were presented at the 2020 Nautical Archaeology Society virtual conference #ThatsNauticalArchaeology.

Protected Wreck Support Award 2020 – Steven Ellis

The Protected Wreck Support Award is designed to help support Licensees and their teams. Licensees and their teams have played a huge role in the careers of all MSDS Marine staff. They have inspired us, taught us and helped us develop our skills and to recognise this we use the awards as a mechanism to give something back.

MSDS Marine already give practical support and advice where we can but we were keen to try and contribute financially too. Awards are designed to assist with specific costs incurred by volunteers working on sites protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 and can be spent on equipment or training. All team members are eligible to apply for the award providing they have the support of the Principal Licensee for the site. Submissions are judged by MSDS Marine in consultation with the Heritage Agencies.

Steven Ellis has been the Licensee of the London protected wreck site for many years and helps run the Save the London campaign. Steven will be using the MSDS Marine grant to help towards the cost of a new chart plotter for the team’s dive boat. It has had a fault for many years which is increasingly getting worse. The equipment is vital to help aid the team in locating the wreck for diving investigations.

Student Support Award 2020 – James MacDonell, Southampton University

The Student Support Award is intended to help support maritime archaeology students in the UK. The growing MSDS Marine team includes a number of early years’ professionals who have all recently completed university courses. Their recent experience highlights the significant costs faced by students to complete their education. MSDS Marine strongly believe fieldwork, and other training experiences, help create professionals with a more rounded skill set and are keen to help allow students to maximise the experiences that they get. To this end MSDS Marine offer many volunteer opportunities for students but are now also keen to help support them financially to gain experiences which might otherwise be unaffordable.

This award is designed to help with specific costs of equipment and training (including conference attendance) for students on undergraduate and masters level degree courses in the UK. Submissions are judged by MSDS Marine in consultation with the universities.

The 2020 winner, James MacDonell, is a masters student at Southampton University. James’ enthusiasm for maritime archaeology and wish to gain more experience impressed us all at MSDS Marine. James explained in his application how working towards his BSAC Sports Diver qualification has been increasingly hard due to Covid-19 limiting the use of shared dive equipment. He plans to use the grant to purchase his own diving equipment to allow him to gain more experience volunteering on projects.

Find out more about the awards and previous winners here:

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