Twenty-year-old Bridgenorth local Joshua Eyles has come a long way since he graduated from St Patricks College in Launceston.
Joshua, or Able Seaman Marine Technician (ABMT) Eyles, is not only one of the engineering sailors onboard Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Larrakia, he is also the ship's Damage Control Yeoman, and as such is responsible for the maintenance of equipment used to keep the crew and ship safe in emergencies.
"Whether it be fire, flood or toxic hazard, the ship has a range of equipment that needs to be kept in top condition in order to combat any of those scenarios," he said.
"This includes ensuring breathing equipment is topped up and working correctly, making sure flood control gear is accounted for and correctly stowed, and that every member of the ship’s company knows how to use the equipment needed to save theirs and their shipmates' lives."
As part of his engineering duties, Joshua and his fellow sailors are responsible for monitoring, operating and maintaining the ship's engineering systems.
"Because patrol boats only have a small crew, there are less engineering sailors than onboard a larger ship which means we get more exposure to the various systems in a shorter period," he said.
"I think this experience allows us to progress faster through out competency task logs which is great for our careers."
HMAS Larrakia is currently undertaking a six-week South East Asian Deployment and has so far visited ports in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
"I've really enjoyed experiencing the cultures of overseas ports – the food has been particularly good," ABMT Eyles said.
Larrakia will return to her home port of Darwin on completion of her current tasking.