Tobruk sailors

Published on Sharon Palmer (author), Lauren Norton (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Tobruk (II), International Fleet Review

Able Seaman Cameron Eccleston and Seaman Scott Boothman on board HMAS Tobruk during the Warship Open Day at Garden Island on 6 October. (photo: Lauren Norton)
Able Seaman Cameron Eccleston and Seaman Scott Boothman on board HMAS Tobruk during the Warship Open Day at Garden Island on 6 October.

It was a case of being in the right place at the right time for ABCIS Cameron Eccleston and SMNCIS Scott Boothman, of HMAS Tobruk.

Both sailors’ time in Tobruk will come to an end at the conclusion of the International Fleet Review.

“Talk about timing,” AB Eccleston said with a huge smile during the open day on 6 October.

“It’s just been sensational, I can’t think of any other words to describe it, awesome, fantastic, good maybe.”

AB Eccleston joined the Navy two years ago and said the IFR had been one of the highlights of his career and he felt lucky to have been a part of it.

“Look around you, this is where it’s all happening and we got to stand right here and see the fireworks and light show last night, which were just fantastic, not many people are that lucky,” he said.

“Next week I post to HMAS Ballarat so I would have missed out if it was a week later.”

SMN Boothman said he had been in the Navy for about 18 months and had spent the last three months in Tobruk and couldn’t think of a better way to say farewell to her.

“I am posting to HMAS Melbourne,” he said.

“I really can’t beat being here though, the atmosphere is great.”

Both sailors said they were looking forward to the open days and hoped the public enjoyed the IFR as much as they had.

“Everyone’s smiling so I guess they are all enjoying it and talking to people about your job is always good,” AB Eccleston said.

Able Seaman Melissa Willes is ready to show visitors around HMAS Tobruk during the Warship Open Day at Garden Island on October 6.

Able Seaman Melissa Willes is ready to show visitors around HMAS Tobruk during the Warship Open Day at Garden Island on October 6.

AB Melissa Willes was one of many sailors aboard HMAS Tobruk greeting the public on the open days.

She said while the IFR had been the most exciting thing she had been involved in, it had also been full on.

“There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and leading up to something like this,” she said.

“Everyone has been working really hard and long hours and it’s great it has all come together.”

AB Willes said manning the shade deck during the fireworks and light display was one of the best jobs she had during the IFR.

“I got to see the whole show and I don’t know where you would have got a better view than we had,” she said.

Her job during the open day was to “tell people where they need to go and just talk to them about the ship”.