The RNLI and Coastguard were called to assist Father Christmas in Porthcawl after he fell from his sleigh and was found clinging to a green marker pole. Stef Bottinelli of YBW.com reports.

When families gathered at Porthcawl Marina to watch Santa do a fly over of the town on Saturday evening they did not expect to witness a Coastguard and RNLI rescue of the bearded man.

Porthcawl lifeboat volunteers responded to reports of Santa’s fall from his sleigh as his reindeer turned sharply when passing the lighthouse and they immediately launched Atlantic 85, Rose of the Shires, to search for Santa in the darkness.  The Porthcawl Coastguard Unit also arrived at the scene to assist in the search around the harbour area.

Thankfully, Father Christmas was found quickly – he was clinging to the green marker pole at the entrance to the harbour area and was brought aboard the lifeboat.

Santa was safe and didn’t suffer any injuries. He took to the helm and steered the lifeboat into the marina where the crew helped him onto one of the pontoons.

When the ordeal was over he met Mother Christmas at the lifeboat station where they welcomed the children who had waited to see Santa and his reindeer fly over Porthcawl.

Santa later said: “I was so grateful to everyone who helped to rescue me so quickly, I have such a busy week ahead making sure all my helpers wrap all the presents and load the sleigh ready for Christmas.

“I was just flying over Porthcawl to check my route when Rudolf, was frightened by a large wave hitting the breakwater, that led him and the other reindeer into a very sharp turn. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt and I was thrown out of the sleigh, so children always remember to fasten your seatbelts when you travel too”.

Lifeboat Deputy Launch Authority Aileen Jones MBE said: “People don’t normally associate our lifeboats being launched to rescue Santa. He was extremely lucky that the crew found him quickly before he got cold. Once back in the lifeboat station we gave him a warm drink and some mince pies we had ready for Christmas.

“Santa was so grateful following his rescue he decided to board our smaller lifeboat Jean Ryall and have photographs with the children and give them all a small gift. Later that evening one of our volunteer crew saw Rudolf lead the reindeer and land on the slipway where Santa was able to take off again and continue to check his route ready for his busiest night of the year”.