Vale Comrade - Tristan Thomas

With a heavy heart and great sadness I inform all past and present members of the devestating loss of comrade Tristan (Trist) Thomas on June 30, 2011. For those privileged to have known or sailed with Trist, the magnitude of this loss is, and will be, very difficult to bear.

Trist first fell in love with the ocean fishing with his Grandad and watching his Dad working the tugs in Port Pirie. Coming from a classic seafaring family, he was a proud and dedicated seaman in his own unique way. He first sailed in 1997, aged 18, on the tanker 'CONUS' and continued a seafaring life on various vessels, Sea Road Mersey, Portland, Destiny Queen and Iron Sturt.

Trist was protective of his shipmates, not only on the job but within union ideals and was extraordinary with private issues of comrades. He was a good listener and always gave his unforced opinion of guidance. Trist was called upon as delo on many jobs, upholding and trying to improve day to day work practices onboard the respective vessels he crewed. Most notably, in his new role as Chief IR aboard the Lindsay Clark which was to be his last vessel.

Trist leaves behind his two beautiful daughters Taya, 3 and Tori 2, and their mum Danielle. Along with his loving parents Andy and Raylene, his sister Sonya, brother in law Selby Carmody and nephew Danny.

Tristan loved his Harleys, his XW and XY GT falcons, his dirt bikes, dirt circuit 351 Cleveland open wheeler, socialising, BBQ's, his mates and much loved dogs Tyson and Buster.

As a mate, Tristan took his friendships seriously and held them close to his heart. He was an exceptionally loyal man. A good man. Better than he ever knew.

Our memories are many, spanning the milestones of life - career changes, houses, family, partners and kids, and those shared holidays, forever treasured. The heartbreaking reality that this untimely loss robbed us of sharing so much more.

There has been heartfelt condolences from Aussie seafarers living in Singapore, the Philippines and from across the country, WA, SA, Tassie, QLD, NSW and Victoria. We were amazed and overwhelmed by the attendance at Tristan's service. The amount of shore mates and seafarers, both the older and younger generations travelled from near and far Roxby Downs, Pt Pirie, Whyalla, Adelaide, Brisbane, Noosa and Melbourne to pay their respects. It was a great tribute to the man Tristan was. We also noted the "father" a union comrade, who came to represent his "son" who was unable to attend. Comrade Ray Dickson, thanks comrade, Comrades Kevin Tuckwell and Rusty and State Secretary Jamie Newlyn.

Tristan, your huge cheery grin, your devilish pranks, your respect to us all, you're partying and your mateship shown to us all, and your MUA spirit will never be forgotten, on behalf of those you sailed with.

We love you comrade

Rest in Peace

Sail the calm waters wherever you are