Lt Cdr Ian George Thomas, who enjoyed a long and successful career in the Royal Navy, has died at the age of 72.

Lt Cdr Thomas was born in Liverpool in December 1946 and spent most of his early childhood in Africa, where his father held a senior position on the merging railroad network.

After serving a four-year engineering apprenticeship he joined the Brittania Royal Naval College at Dartmouth as a junior officer, training ashore and afloat.

While at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Lt Cdr Thomas undertook a three-year mechanical engineering BSc degree and graduated in 1974.

He enjoyed a long and successful career in the Royal Navy where he learned to fly and ultimately specialised in air engineering.

Following his qualification in 1975 he was appointed to a helicopter squadron, based at the Naval Air Station at Portland.

Later in his career he served on the Ark Royal as a Lieutenant Commander.

On leaving the service, he met his wife Pamela and enjoyed the next chapter of his life happily on the IW, eventually settling at Blackwater Hollow.

His knowledge, skills and attributes remained in high demand and on leaving the Royal Navy he pursued a successful career as an independent consultant for a range of international companies.

During this time, he felt the call of the sea once more and spent four years managing his own water taxi business and pleasure boat Joybelle in Yarmouth.

His skills and talent remained in high demand up until the time of his illness.

He leaves his wife of 28 years, his stepchildren and grandchildren.

Lt Cdr Thomas's funeral will take place at 2.15pm on May 3, at the IW Crematorium.