In 1997, Australian filmmaker Matt Blyth lost his best mate at sea. Last year, while travelling down the East Coast of Queensland working on a documentary, a news article jolted Blyth to the core.
The article titled Sea Rogue was the story of a New South Wales commercial fishing trawler that sank off Byron Bay 10 years earlier. Deckhand Michael Williams performed a superhuman effort to swim 15 nautical miles (27.78 kilometres) in an attempt to save the lives of his best mate skipper Charlie Picton and fellow deckhand JJ.
Matt Blyth created the documentary, Sea Rogue, to capture William’s powerful story, which premiered at Port Shorts International Film Festival and won the prestigious Jury Award. Matt calls the story an incredible story of survival, “From the moment we met Mick we hit it off, given we have both lost great mates at sea, there was a lot of common ground. Mick’s book Sea Rogue is incredibly powerful so it wasn’t hard to take that foundation and turn it into a compelling documentary.”
Sea Rogue is part of a larger national marine safely initiative known as the SeSafe Project, which has a goal to raise the fishing industry’s safely performance and bring all fishers home safely. Sea Rogue is an out of the box approach to seas safety in that it shares the worst possible case scenario at sea.
The trailer for Sea Rogue can be found here.