Chinese language TV crew document navy life

Clement Tang of Chinese-language cable specialty channel Fairchild TV (not pictured) interviews Cdr Alex Barlow, Commanding Officer of HMCS Ottawa, on the ship’s bridge. The TV crew sailed aboard the frigate to get an up-close look at life in the navy. Photos courtesy Fairchild TV

Clement Tang of Chinese-language cable specialty channel Fairchild TV (not pictured) interviews Cdr Alex Barlow, Commanding Officer of HMCS Ottawa, on the ship’s bridge. The TV crew sailed aboard the frigate to get an up-close look at life in the navy. Photos courtesy Fairchild TV

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A TV crew has documented life on board a Canadian warship for the Chinese community.

A three-person film crew from the news program Magazine 26 set sail from Esquimalt aboard HMCS Ottawa for an overnight sail Jan. 25, reaching their final destination of Canada Place in Vancouver the next morning. 

The daily news program is available on Canadian specialty cable Fairchild TV, which boasts 500,000 viewers daily and is available in both Mandarin and Cantonese languages.

“Everyone on board Ottawa was extremely helpful and accommodating to me and my crew,” said Clement Tang, reporter and anchorman. “I immediately got the impression the navy takes its responsibility of informing and educating the Chinese-Canadian community about its operations and possible career paths very seriously.”

To add some flare to the coverage, sailors performed two damage control demonstrations involving firefighting techniques and flood response. Then the crew went into “action stations” for a bridge warning organization, the response the ship takes to small boat attacks. The attacking small boat was simulated by the ship’s RHIB.. 

To beef up the footage, the crew conducted firing of the 50 calibre machine gun with blank ammunition, line handling, small boat operations, high-speed maneuvering, bridge operations, navigation, seamanship briefings, and dinner in the mess.

Four Chinese-Canadian sailors were interviewed to provide a personal touch to the segment.

Lt(N) Chow, PO2 Shei, PO1 Tin and SLt Wang spoke candidly of their experiences as sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Commander Alex Barlow, the ship’s captain, rounded out the interviews by speaking of the humanitarian missions that make up much of the navy’s work. A highlight of his military career was providing aid to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

The film crew devoured a well-earned meal after a day clambering up and down ladders between Ottawa’s decks lugging their equipment.

Tang said his film crew had no trouble sleeping despite the cramped sleeping quarters.

“I quickly realized you burn up a lot of calories working and living on a warship, and that it’s very hard work, which is not necessarily the message conveyed on television and in the movies,” said Tang. “They always have to be alert and ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The Magazine 26 segment on HMCS Ottawa is expected to air in early spring. For more information about Fairchild TV and Magazine 26 visit their website, www.fairchildtv.com.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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