Family and friends climb aboard HMCS Winnipeg

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Navy News / February 27, 2017

By Leading Seaman Brendan Gibson

HMCS Winnipeg’s ship’s company entertained family members February 3, 2017, during a day sail off Vancouver Island.

Friends and relatives arrived at 9 a.m. and received a safety briefing while the crew prepared for departure. Guests particularly enjoyed observing preparations from the ship’s bridge.

Winnipeg began the sail with maneuvering demonstrations that emphasized the impressive turning rate of a Halifax-class frigate, and its ability to hastily reach high speeds and to stop within a ship’s length. Younger guests even had the chance to be helmsmen, under supervision, with five-year-old Sean Flynn saying, “It was fun driving the boat.”

Guests also observed a man overboard drill. Colin Earl threw the initial smoke marker that indicated the position of the mannequin used for training purposes.

“It was cool to throw a smoke marker, and it was awesome to see it light up in the water,” said the youngster.

Although this is a well-practised drill onboard Royal Canadian Navy ships, guests were thrilled to see the ship’s company work toward a common goal – recovering the person.

Captain Chris McDonald, Capt Madeleine Dah and Heidi Dahl were impressed with the coordination of drills and enjoyed the tour of the Operations Room, saying it looked like the bridge from Star Trek. They similarly enjoyed the ship listing during the sharp turning maneuvers.

Ernie and Sheryl Semeniuk said they enjoyed seeing the streamlined approach to the man overboard drill, and expressed particular interest in the attentiveness of the boat’s crew, whose attention to detail and organization ensured a seamless evolution.

Day sails such as the one conducted by Winnipeg provide guests with a better understanding of life at sea and the comradery of a ship’s company. This context can increase the comfort level of family members while sailors are deployed.

Article courtesy of Lookout Newspaper