THE dad of a trainee sailor from Gosport, who died on a night out, has raised money for a Portsmouth-based naval charity in his honour.
Robbie Mackay completed a marathon paddleboarding session around the Scottish coastline in tribute to his son, Ruairidh.
The 18-year-old sailor had been based at HMS Sultan in Gosport when he died after falling from a six-foot wall in Banff, Aberdeenshire, in September 2016.
Robbie’s venture raised £1,990 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), which support naval families across the nation.
In a statement, the RMRNC said: ‘As the national charity of the Royal Navy, the RNRMC is on hand to support naval families through difficult times and crisis.
‘Thanks to the goodwill and generosity of the Mackay family and all those who donated to Robbie's fundraising challenge, the £1,990 that they raised will ensure that naval families will continue to be supported.’
Speaking about her twin brother and her father's fundraising challenge, Megan Mackay said: ‘Ruairidh was fulfilled with joy, excitement and pride, and couldn't wait to start his career in the Royal Navy. Unfortunately, this opportunity was snatched away and his future taken from him.
‘This charity (RNRMC) has helped my family immensely during a tragic and heartbreaking period, and we want to give something back.
‘You helped us during the worst time of our lives, and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
Ruairidh grew up in Scotland before he joined the Royal Navy.
Passing out of HMS Raleigh, he had just completed his second phase of his training and was just weeks away from his first deployment when he died.
Speaking after his death, Lieutenant Commander Steve May, training officer at the Defence School of Marine Engineering, HMS Sultan, said:has been ‘deeply saddened’ by the loss of a ‘young , talented engineer who had a promising career ahead of him in the Royal Navy’.
‘He was a hardworking, diligent and rightly ambitious young man, who thrived on the challenges set before him, who thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of practical engineering,’ he said.
To support the RNRMC charity, see www.rnrmc.org.uk