‘Seadog’ wins limerick competition

A man from North Lincolnshire has beaten off competition from more than 100 people in the UK, Europe and America to win a limerick competition celebrating life at sea.

Michael Green triumphed in the annual contest organised by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Entries in the Seafaring Limerick Competition were judged by celebrity poet and Radio 4 regular Matt Harvey.

Michael, from New Holland, wrote:

There was an old seadog from Hull
Whose features resembled a gull
His voice was a squawk
His waddle a walk
And his outlook was invariably dull

Michael entered the competition due to his love of limericks and a family connection with the sea. His late Great Uncle served on the Queen Mary and his sister on the QE2.

He said: “I was delighted to win. I have fed the society’s iconic red collection mines along the coast since I was a young boy and now, with the benefit of access to the organisation’s website, have a much better understanding of the value of the work they undertake.”

In the under-18 category, the winner was seven-year-old Eben Cohen-King from Devon, who entered the competition after his father taught him about limericks during his Easter holidays.

His winning entry read:

A thoughtful life boatman called Dave
is very kind and brave;
He once saved the life
of a man and his wife
when they had got stuck in a cave.

Judge Matt said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to judge this year’s limerick competition. The sea has a connection with everyone in some way, whether as a source of food or to provide a career, and we definitely saw this range of maritime experiences expressed in the poems.

“I know each year the society sees cases of people who have dedicated so much of their lives to our seas and I was proud to help the society encourage more people to get access to help in times of difficulty.”

The winners received a recording of their poems being read by Matt Harvey. In addition, Michael was given an engraved barometer while Eben received a portable sundial.

The Chichester-based society provides financial support and advice to retired seafarers in need.

Watch Judge Matt Harvey read the limericks: