A scuba diving Santa Claus was spotted Monday in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary enjoying some relaxation with an elfish helper before the upcoming holidays.
Propelled by an undersea scooter, the jolly St. Nick delivered a bit of cheer Monday to the marine inhabitants in the sanctuary off Key Largo.
Spencer Slate, owner of Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures, dons his Kris Kringle garb annually to offer underwater holiday photo opportunities and help promote awareness of an annual fundraiser for a local children’s charity, Kids in Special Situations.
Christmas Day, Slate’s dive shop plans a special morning coral reef dive trip for divers and snorkelers to join, helping raise money for the charity to purchase holiday gifts for underprivileged children.
During his subsea excursion Monday near an aptly named area known as Pleasure Reef, Santa encountered schools of fish and other marine life that seemed quite comfortable with the very merry crew throughout the dive.
For over 30 years the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has protected the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef and the waters surrounding the island chain, approximately 2,900 square nautical miles of waters that stretch from Key Largo and the Upper Keys to the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles west of Key West.