|Christopher "Swain" Blake|
|Sea Patrol character|
|First appearance||Welcome Aboard
Ep. 1.01 (Pilot), aired 5 July 2007
|Last appearance||One Perfect Day
Ep. 5.13 (Series finale), aired 12 July 2011
|Portrayed by||Matt Holmes|
|Nickname(s)||Swain or Swaino|
|Children||Chloë Blake (born October 2007)|
Season one (2007)
It's the Fremantle class HMAS Hammersley’s final six months before she's decommissioned, and Chris is serving aboard her as the coxswain, police officer, chief medic and most experienced helmsman. While he may not get squeamish at such things like blood and gore, the after-effects of such incidents do get to him in his own personal way, especially when a death is involved.
These after-effects tend to coincide with his thoughts of his pregnant wife, Sally, at home, as the harsh reality of the chance of him never seeing Sally or their unborn child ever again every time he steps onto the ship. But as much as he loves his family, he loves his job, so he does it.
So when he is kidnapped by what appears to be commercial fishers from their sinking boat, life for him and the rest of the ship goes into chaos. The entire time Chris is driving the RHIB with the fishers back to their ship in the darkest of nights, all he can think about is getting back home to see Sally and their child, who is due to be born very soon.
All seems well, until when Chris trips while transporting boxes of cargo from the fishermen's ship to the RHIB, and out spills diamonds. As punishment, the master of the vessel orders him to be tied up in a room down below that is very much quickly filling with water.
Chris' future seems doomed as the room quickly fills and he finds himself unable to loosen the ropes which have tied his hands together around a pole. But luckily, the Hammersley finds him just in time, and fellow sailor Pete manages to untie the ropes and pull him from the flooded room.
A couple of weeks later, Sally goes into labour. Chris has arranged to take at least that day off work, but when his replacement comes down with the flu, he has no choice but to leave his wife and go to work. All seems well with his 'forty-five minutes there, and forty-five minutes back' plan until complications on the ship arise and they are delayed - instead, Chris ends up helping delivering the baby boy of two teenagers who the Hammersley discovered on a stolen boat!
Chris finally does make it back to base, just an hour or two after Sally had given birth to their daughter, who gets named Chloë. While neither of them are happy at him missing Chloë's birth, Sally is just glad he made it home to see their child.
Season two (2008)
In the second season, Chris is back on the new Armidale class patrol boat, also named HMAS Hammersley, resuming his role as chief medic and coxswain. But unlike a year ago, Chris now has a baby daughter, who is now six-months-old, at home as well as his wife, Sally, and he's finding it hard to be away from both of them weeks at a time. And now Sally has put her foot down, telling him to get a shore posting.
For Chris, it's an almost impossible choice, and he's left in an agony of indecision as he tries to get through every day on the seas, away from his family.
So when Sally takes herself and Chloë away for a while to her parents' home in Perth, Chris spirals into depression. At the same time, he strikes an unlikely friendship with a young boy, Saka, a Samaruan child from Samaru Island. But when he discovers some dark secrets about this young child, Chris finds himself in a race against time to find three people and bring them back to their homes - Saka, his wife and his daughter.
Chris was married to Sally, a woman only briefly seen in a few episodes. In the penultimate episode of season one, they had their first child, a daughter, named Chloë, a surprise after it was expected to be a boy. In the second season, Sally leaves their Cairns home for a while and takes herself and their daughter to her parents' house in Perth. Chris believed this a precursor to divorce, but it turned out to be a short-lived separation. Sally remains concerned about the stress of trying to raise their daughter in his absence, but they reconfirmed their love for each other during season two.
|Cross of Valour (Australia)|
|Australian Active Service Medal|
|Iraq Medal (Australia)|
|Australian Defence Medal|