Santa, played by Keys dive shop operator Spencer Slate, took some time off from getting ready for his annual Christmas toy run to dive amid the marine life in Elbow Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The yellowtail snapper, angelfish and other Florida Keys inhabitants seemed to appreciate the visit from St. Nick.
Spencer Slate has been donning the jolly man’s outfit for years to take the plunge but there is a serious side to his shenanigans. Dive customers frequently have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa for an extra fee and the revenue goes to a local children’s charity to fund gifts during the holiday season.
Elbow Reef is situated about six miles off Key Largo. The site features the wreck of the City of Washington, a late 1800s military supply vessel that was converted into a coal barge and sunk off Key Largo in 1917.