A Northumberland resident was among those to be greeted when HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s fleet flagship, returned from a six-month patrol in the Middle East to her baseport in Devonport, Plymouth.
Petty Officer Chris Orkney rushed off the ship to be met by his cheering wife Nicola and their children – three-year-old Declan, who is recovering from a heart condition, and Locklan, aged one – and his parents-in-law Pauline and Tom Williams.
Chris, from near Morpeth, is planning a yomp (a military term for a long-distance march carrying full kit) from HMS Ocean in Plymouth with shipmates to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where Declan had his operation. It will take place next month and the money raised will go to the fund for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman.
Nicola said: “Declan’s such an ever-happy star. He’s having a check-up soon to see if his operation has had a long-term successful outcome. He’s been looking forward to seeing his dad – it’s lovely to have him back.”