WATCH: HMCS Chicoutimi returned to CFB Esquimalt Wednesday after nearly 200 days at sea. The submarine and its crew travelled to the Korean Peninsula. Isabelle Raghem reports.
After more than six months from a mission in Asia-Pacific waters, it was an emotional homecoming for HMCS Chicoutimi.
It was a day that couldn’t come soon enough for the 58-member crew aboard the submarine and their loved ones. The voyage was the longest one for a Victoria-class submarine.
It’s not just a day of celebration for families, but also for the Royal Canadian Navy.
“To master our oceans, we need to have control on the sea, over the sea and under the sea,” Cmdr. Stephane Ouellet, HMCS Chicoutimi.
This was the first time the Royal Canadian Navy deployed a submarine to Japan in half a century. But this mission came with doubts. The last time HMCS Chicoutimi crossed an ocean it caught fire and a sailor died.
That was nearly a decade and a half ago and this time, they were determined to prove the vessel’s effectiveness.
They spent recent months quietly tracking ships in the Pacific and collecting information, like finding out who might be delivering goods to North Korea despite U.N. sanctions.