SANTA swapped his sleigh for a lifeboat to hand out early Christmas presents.
Father Christmas, accompanied by Rookie the reindeer, was a special guest at the Sunderland Yacht Club party, where he arrived on Sunderland RNLI’s lifeboat - Atlantic 85.
The family event was attended by 40 children and parents from both the yacht club and the RNLI lifeboat station.
Kristina Jameson, from Sunderland RNLI and event organiser said: “All of the children who attended the event had a brilliant time and it was a really nice touch to see Father Christmas and his Reindeer arrive at the yacht club onboard our local RNLI inshore lifeboat.”
The yacht club, based on Sunderland’s Old North Pier at Roker, is in its centenary year having been founded to encourage boating activities and enhance the skills of its members.
The club has 250 members of all ages and promotes an environment where boat owners can enjoy the social aspect of the club as well as enhancing their boating skills by enrolling onto one of the clubs RYA training courses.
Kristina added: “While Christmas is typically a time of fun, rest and relaxation with family and friends, our volunteer crews are willing to carry a pager all over the festive season and launch the lifeboats to rescue those in danger at sea – in all conditions and at any time of day or night – which is testament to their absolute commitment.”
More than 40 fundraisers and volunteers from Sunderland RNLI, the UK’s oldest continually operational lifeboat station, will be collecting outside the Stadium of Light before the Manchester City match on Boxing Day.