12-year-old Bob Tilson patiently waits for his dad so he can play Boop, a game they play together as a family. They. Haven’t played together in more than 197 days because his dad was deployed on the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi on the longest deployment of a Victoria-class ship to date. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

Tears and laughter filled the jetty where emotional friends and family welcomed the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi

After 197-days at sea, Cendra Beaton’s husband was finally home.

In front of dozens of friends and family of crew members from the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi, her six-year-old son Xavier and nine-year-old daughter Ariana ran into the arms of their father Patrick for the first time in more than six months.

“It’s kind of like getting your first kiss all over again or your kiss on your wedding day,” Cendra said after giving her husband a kiss. “It’s a little bit nerve wracking but exciting.”

The Beatons were the first family reunited after Patrick won a lottery to be the first kiss, following the longest deployment of a Victoria-class submarine to date. The trip to the Asia-Pacific cost their family important milestones including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and Valentines Day. Patrick’s own birthday was spent at sea.

“(Even) my son learned to read and ice skate, things like that were missed,” Cendra said. “Which as a parent that’s a big deal to see them grow and develop skills. We don’t have any family local so it’s a unique situation for us when he’s away”

With three more birthdays and a wedding anniversary in June to look forward to, Cendra said their are still many more important milestones they will now be celebrating again as a family.

“It’s great to see how my kids react to my husband’s homecoming, it just goes to show the separation they have felt and the sacrifices they have made back home,” she said. “And them realizing how important this is to be back together and that they love their daddy.”

arnold.lim@blackpress.ca

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