Missing Navy Sailor's Name Released

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17th June 2010, 07:56pm - Views: 726

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Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

MSPA 230/10 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Missing Navy sailor’s name released

The Royal Australian Navy can confirm the missing sailor presumed drowned, as 28

year old Leading Seaman (LS) Combat Systems Operator Andrew Wakely.

LS Wakely, from Bentley, Western Australia, was swimming at a beach on the

western side of Tonga yesterday morning when fellow crew members notified senior

authorities that he had possibly drowned.

At first light this morning, an air and sea search recommenced with HMAS


Seahawk helicopter and a Tongan patrol boat, manned by Tonga

Defence Services.

The Seahawk continued searching the area until last light, while Tongan police

conducted a search of local beaches. The body of LS Wakely has not been recovered

at this time. The search will resume tomorrow. 

Navy will conduct an investigation into the incident and will cooperate fully with

parallel investigations conducted by local authorities.


The sailor’s family is continuing to be provided with support by Navy and the

Defence Community Organisation.


At this time, the family has requested the media respect their privacy.

HMAS Warramunga was conducting a scheduled Port Visit to Nuku’Alofa, Tonga at

the time of the incident and remains alongside supporting the search effort.

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

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