A TALENTED Worcester News photographer has been highly commended for a striking picture of an evacuation which captures the drama of the devastating floods.

Picture editor Jonathan Barry captured the moment a woman was lifted to the safety of a waiting rescue boat during an evacuation from John Gwynn House by the banks of the river Seven in Worcester during February's floods.

The picture, which was used on the front page on February 13, impressed judges at the Midlands Media Awards, the Birmingham Press Club’s largest and most prestigious annual event, attended by over 300 of the region’s media professionals and key guests from the business community,. Mr Barry was highly commended in the news photo of the year category.

Mr Barry was presented with his award at a ceremony at Aston Villa Football Club, holding his own with some of the best in the business including Anna Draper (Lincolnshire Echo), Alex Hannam (Leicester Mercury), Will Johnston (Leicester Mercury), Tim Sturgess (Express & Star), Victoria Wilcox (Derby Telegraph) and Nick Wilkinson (BPM Media). Mr Barry, who says he has never won anything before in his life, has worked at the Worcester News for the last 10 years and in the journalism business for the last 30 years. Mr Barry, who was taking pictures of the floods after wading along New Road in his wellies, saw the fire engine and followed crews to take the picture.

He said: "It was just a news moment and the picture captures the drama. It’s a real honour to have my work recognised by peers in the industry. We were up against some amazing news pictures, from some of the best press photographers across the Midlands, and I was delighted, when I heard I had been highly commended. It just goes to show the team at The Worcester News often punches above their weight, and can compete with some of the best regional daily newspapers in the country."

It is not the first time the Worcester News has shone in this category - a former Worcester News photographer, Richard Eaton, won the news picture of the year in 2006 with photos of a gun siege in Upton.