Royal Navy Fire Fighter receives award from Princess Royal

Lieutenant Evan Mackay, a fire fighting trainer based at the Phoenix Training Group, HMS Excellent was recently awarded the BAE Systems SUY Sword by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, at HMS Collingwood’s Ceremonial Divisions.

Mac, originally from Livingston, West Lothian has achieved over 20 years of service in the Royal Navy, joining in October 1997.

His first ship was HMS Nottingham, then HMS Leeds Castle, HMS Brocklesby, HMS Penzance and HMS Northumberland. Until 2017, he was based on the carrier Queen Elizabeth.

Of all his deployments, Mac cites his time on HMS Brocklesby as the best saying, “We had a phenomenal Ship’s Company including a great Commanding Officer in Phil Ireland and spent nine months down in the Gulf during the Op Telic operations.

To win this award is special but to have it presented by HRH Princess Anne is overwhelmingly satisfying.

Lieutenant Evan Mackay RN

“This was repaid with a very entertaining trip back to the UK which included three days each in Faliraki, Ibiza and Northern Spain!”

In his free time, the 38-year-old enjoys football, boxing, mixed martial arts and spending time with his family.

Speaking of receiving his honour, he said, “This award has come as a surprise but is easily regarded as one of my most significant achievements during my Royal Navy career thus far.

“I know my Mum, who unfortunately passed away in 1999, would be extremely proud of what I have achieved.

“I can think of a few teachers from my school who would be pleasantly surprised at what I have achieved.

“To win this award is special but to have it presented by HRH Princess Anne is overwhelmingly satisfying.

“I would like to dedicate it to my beautiful wife and our two wonderful children, who are my life.”

Mac’s next draft will be on HMS Westminster, as Deputy Marine Engineering Officer.