A ROYAL Navy reservist from Sheffield who has protected vessels from pirates and helped rescue victims of people trafficking has been awarded a prestigious medal.
Leading Seaman Paul Barrott, aged 41, from Hillsborough, was presented with the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal for his work in the Navy Reserves since 2001.
Paul, who works as a social care manager in his civilian life, was most recently deployed to the Horn of Africa as part of an international naval force to protect vessels from Somali pirates.
He was serving in the area at the time of the kidnapping of Paul and Rachel Chandler and witnessed the capture of a number of pirates throughout his six-month tour of duty.
Paul has also been involved in operations to rescue vulnerable people from human trafficking.
He said: “It is enormously rewarding to have been presented this medal, and goes a long way to recognising the commitment I have made over the years.
“And not only my commitment, but also the commitment and sacrifice by my family and employer.
“I feel this medal is a recognition for them as much as me.”
Paul joined the reserves after leaving the regular navy.
Captain Ian Robinson, chairman of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted we can recognise Paul and others like him who manage their work and family lives as well as devoting time to the Royal Naval Reserves.
“Reservists play a vital role to operations all over the world.”