Lake Cathie’s Santa has received an early gift for Christmas to keep him safe while he spreads Christmas cheer from the water.
Roads and Maritime Services Mid North Coast boating education officer Peter Bennetts presented Santa (Ron Hunter) with a life jacket on November 27.
Ron said he was grateful for the jacket as in the past he has had a ‘few close calls’.
Ron was so determined to keep his daily ritual to bring smiles to the faces of local children that he took on a king tide.
Two passer-bys raced into the water to help Spike and Ron to shore.
“It makes me feel safer,” Ron said after he received the jacket on November 27.
“I should have been wearing when I had that incident last year.
“That should have been a wake-up call.”
Ron said the life jacket was a nice fit and as it was red in colour, suited Santa’s look.
Ron now has a new helper called Ruby Tuesday who is a eight-month-old Jack Russell.
Ron said Ruby is settling into her new position as Santa’s helper.
Mr Bennetts said if people are using a kayak or a canoe they should be wearing a life jacket under marine safety regulations which was implemented from July, 2016.
People are required to wear a life jacket, Mr Bennetts said if they are on a canoe or kayak alone.
Mr Bennetts said as it is a relatively new piece of legislation a lot of people aren’t aware of it.
“Lake Cathie is a very popular spot for water activities so with the boating season coming up it’s important that everyone is as safe as possible,” he said.