A member of the Royal Australian Navy who died in unknown circumstances while deployed on a border patrol operation on Tuesday has been identified as Lieutenant Commander Steven Noakes.
In a statement released by the Federal Department of Defence on Wednesday on behalf of Noakes' family, the Lieutenant has been described as "a much loved husband, father, brother, uncle, son and proud Navy member".
"[Steven] devoted 36 years of his life to serving his country and for that we couldn't be more proud of him. When not home with his family, he was most happiest when at sea with his crew," the statement said.
"We wish to extend our thanks to his shipmates and colleagues who provided such a rewarding and joyous career to Steven over the years. His life has made a significant impact on all those who knew and loved him."
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) confirmed on Tuesday that Noakes had died while deployed on border patrol Operation Resolute in Australian Defence Vessel 'Cape Inscription', although his cause of death remains unknown.
"On behalf of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force, the Chief of the Defence Force extends his deepest sympathy to the family, friends and shipmates of the deceased member," the ADF said in a statement on Tuesday.
The incident comes after a series of deaths in the Australian Defence Force in May where an Australian Army soldier was killed after being struck by a tree branch near Rockhampton and another soldier died after being wounded during a routine training activity in Darwin.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA