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The Australian Department of Defence has confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Lieutenant Commander Steven Noakes has died whilst on deployment on the patrol boat Cape Inscription as part of Operation Resolute.

The Department of Defence has described Lieutenant Commander Noakes as “a much loved husband, father, brother, uncle, son and proud navy member”.

He was a 36 year veteran of the Royal Australian Navy and was said that “when not a home, he was most happiest when at sea with his crew”. Defence is currently liaising with local authorities to determine the yet to be determined cause of death.

His family extended their thanks to the crew of the Cape Inscription who provided him with “such a rewarding and joyous career..over the years” and they also said that they couldn’t be more proud of him regarding his service.

Operation Resolute, which the Lieutenant Commander was deployed on, is aimed at stopping unauthorised maritime arrivals, piracy, illegal fishing and prohibited imports. The operation covers close to 10 per cent of the world’s surface and ranges from Christmas Island to Norfolk Island.

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