The British competition, which in this edition had more than 500 participants from more than 40 countries and the submission of more than 6,500 photographs, is considered by many to be the most prestigious underwater photography competition in the world.

The winning photo was taken in April 2022 when a sperm whale about 12 metres long washed ashore seriously injured and a group of around thirty bathers tried to save it, pushing it back into the sea.

Nuno Sá, alerted by a marine biologist friend who witnessed the first sightings of the injured sperm whale, went to the location armed with a drone as it approached the coast, which allowed him to monitor the rescue attempt.

“It was a mix of emotions to see an animal that I am so used to filming, in different parts of our planet on the high seas, injured and dying fighting to stay on the surface. But it was also inspiring to see so many people risking their lives to try to save him. We are talking about an animal that in this case weighed more than 30 tons and was injured. Interestingly, only after landing the drone and getting close to the whale did I realise that my 10-year-old daughter was one of the people trying to save it”, says Nuno Sá, photographer and videographer.

Nuno Sá was named Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year 2024 by the ‘Save Our Seas Foundation', with his photograph ‘Saving Goliath’, taken in Portugal. Nuno Sá's photograph shows bathers trying to save a stranded sperm whale.

Dr. Alex Mustard, President of the UPY Jury said: “The photo gives us hope that people care and want to help the oceans, but it also warns us that bigger changes are needed.”

Nuno Sá had already won the first edition of the competition, in 2015, being the only Portuguese photographer to win the competition in its 10-year history. A decade later, the photographer and videographer was again awarded, this time winning the 'Save Our Seas' Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year category, with a photograph that shows a group of bathers trying to save a sperm whale on Fonte da beach.