Canadian Navy submarine returns to B.C. after longest voyage on record
'It's like your wedding day all over again,' says wife of HMCS Chicoutimi sailor
For family, friends and crew alike, it's been a long six months.
HMCS Chicoutimi, a Royal Canadian Navy submarine, left Canada on a patrol mission to Asia in September. CBC News had unprecedented access on board the ship during deployment.
On Wednesday, the ship returned to the Esquimalt dockyard, packed with dozens of officers who hadn't seen their families in 197 days.
A military band played as the vessel docked and officers disembarked, running to hug their families.
Cendra Beaton, married to First Marine Technician Patrick Beaton, was chosen to greet her husband first for the tradition of the "first kisses."
"It's kind of like your wedding day all over again," she said, standing by with her children.
The voyage was the longest one for a Victoria-class submarine. It's been more than half a century since the Royal Canadian Navy sent a submarine to Japan.
The RCN purchased the sub from the United Kingdom in the '90s.
The last time HMCS Chicoutimi crossed an ocean, the vessel flooded, caught fire, and a sailor died. The navy said it hoped this mission would erase any doubts about the vessel's capabilities.
With files from the Canadian Press