WATCH: It was an emotional reunion Friday as sailors aboard HMCS Nanaimo returned home for the holidays. Ceilidh Millar reports.
HMCS Nanaimo slowly made its way into CFB Esquimalt Friday morning after two months at sea.
Even gray skies couldn’t dampen the spirits of family members patiently waiting for their sailors to return home.
“They got in just in time for the holidays,” explained one woman waiting for her friend.
Among those lining the jetty is Charlotte Farquharson and her two young children, who couldn’t be more excited to welcome their father home after his crime-fighting mission overseas.
“We’ve been missing him a lot,” said Farquharson.
The crew of 40 aboard the ship, along with Esquimalt-based HMCS Saskatoon, were deployed to waters off Central America as part of Operation CARIBBE.
The United States-led campaign saw the Canadian Armed Forces working with the US Coast Guard to disturb illicit trafficking.
An estimated $298-million worth of drugs were kept off the streets during the operation.
“We’re happy to be home,” explained Lt.- Cmdr Shane Denneny of HMCS Nanaimo. “We’re happy to have sailed and done our job for our country and the people of Canada.”
First off the ship was “Sailor Santa” with a bag full of presents from their voyage.
“We’re going to pass them off to the children that need them,” said Tracy Beck of the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre. “It’s a great initiative for them to gather a bunch of toys.”
The greatest gift for these families is the chance to be reunited with their loved ones – just in time for the holidays.