Santa hands out gifts and boating advice

Surprises children of Coast Guard members


MAYPORT, Fla. – Santa typically travels on his sleigh to make his Christmas deliveries. But, Monday morning he was making deliveries from a boat with a little help from the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback brought St. Nick in to the Coast Guard Station at Mayport. Santa was greeted by a crowd of the children of local Coast Guard men and women. The children were waving and cheering as he docked.

Santa handed out gifts, but he also offered some advice for holiday safety. Santa and the Coast Guard wanted to remind anyone boating this holiday season to take precautions to stay safe on the water.

The Coast Guard urges boaters to wear life jackets. The Coast Guard estimates life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80% of boating fatality victims. A life jacket is required for every person on board the vessel. Boats over 16 feet must have at least one throwable device as well.

They also recommend boaters file float plans before taking a trip. You can download a PDF copy of the Coast Guard float plan here. The float plan tells rescuers everything they need to know about your boat, your passengers and yourself in the case of emergency.