Navy tourism boost: American seamen on the Sunshine Coast

THERE'S a saying in the navy "join the navy, see the world", that was the credence of the 6000 USS George Washington crew over the past four days.

After docking in Brisbane, hundreds of the American Navy men and women swarmed Sunshine Coast tourist attractions giving the economy a healthy shot during a typically low period for the industry.

One of the most popular attractions for the American guests was Australia Zoo with many of them feeling obliged to pay their respects to local hero Steve Irwin.

TRIP OF A LIFETIME: Visiting American sailors prepare for a diving tour of HMAS Brisbane.
TRIP OF A LIFETIME: Visiting American sailors prepare for a diving tour of HMAS Brisbane. Warren Lynam

Lieutenant commander Steve Lamoure was on his second trip to Australia with the US Navy they received a special tour of the zoo.

"It was a little tribute to Mr Irwin, he's done some great things for your country," he said.

"He's very much still recognised, we still have him on TV over there (in the US)."

After cuddling koalas, a group of sailors snuck in a diving tour of the HMAS Brisbane warship yesterday to ponder would could have been their own fate.

One of those sailors, Tyler Wilson said it was an experience he'd never forget.

"It was an awesome, amazing dive," he said.

"I've never seen some of those animals before ... and all kinds of fish I don't even know the names of."


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