Ship sail

Families send crew of HMCS Halifax as ship departs for six-month deployment

HALIFAX, N.S. — Hail, high winds and cold temperatures didn’t bother most people as they said goodbye to loved ones aboard HMCS Halifax ahead of her deployment on Saturday afternoon.

For Avery Carrigan, it’s not the first time she’s stood on the pier as she says goodbye to her dad, even though the eight-year-old can’t remember when Master Seaman Matthew Carrigan is left for another deployment six years ago.

“It’s really sad,” Avery said, holding a small paper Canadian flag in his hand and tears streaming down his cheeks.

But her face lit up with a smile as her father waved to her and her little sister, Maya, from the deck of the ship.


Maya Carrigan, 3, watches her father, Master Seaman Matthew Carrigan, as HMCS Halifax, with a complement of 253, set sail for a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and northern Europe on Saturday afternoon. -Eric Wynne

“Goodbye Dad! 3-year-old Maya shouted at Carrigan. “I miss you.”

Avery and Maya were joined by their mother, Michelle Bowles, who said Carrigan had not sailed since Maya was born.

“I think he’s a little nervous but you know, excited at the same time,” Bowles said. “Six months is a long time, so it will be hard for these guys not to see it, but we’ll get through it.”

Bowles said she hopes to be able to use FaceTime Carrigan at least once a week, but the rated service isn’t always the best on board.

Nearby, Ryan Nash and his family were taking last minute photos from afar with Chris Nash before he embarked.

“It was tough on him and it was tough on the family,” Ryan Nash said of when his brother and his family heard the news of the deployment.

“I just hope everything will be fine.”


HMCS Halifax, with a complement of 253, set sail for a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and northern Europe on Saturday afternoon.  -Eric Wynne
HMCS Halifax, with a complement of 253, set sail for a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and northern Europe on Saturday afternoon. -Eric Wynne

National Defense Minister Anita Anand traveled to Halifax to see the Canadian Navy frigate depart for its six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and European waters as part of Operation Reassurance.

The deployment comes at a time of heightened tensions as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues in the region.

“At this time, it is so important for all of us to stand united, to stand together, to oppose Russia’s unwarranted and unlawful aggression, and to stand up for peace, deterrence and defensive watch over which NATO is built,” Anand said. .

“This is what HMCS Montreal is doing and today, as you embark, HMCS Halifax. You are making a difference.”


The Alderney Ferry crosses paths with HMCS Halifax as it departs for a six-month deployment.  -Eric Wynne
The Alderney Ferry crosses paths with HMCS Halifax as it departs for a six-month deployment. -Eric Wynne

Anand said the changing environment in Europe has resulted in an increased Canadian Armed Forces presence in Europe to further demonstrate Canada’s commitment to NATO.

Commander Dale St. Croix said the crew of HMCS Halifax is “ready, willing, eager and capable” and “preparing for whatever lies ahead.”