The Rise of the Scuba Santas


You may have heard about Surfing Santas, or Flying Santas, but what about Scuba Santas?

Turns out it’s a real thing, and it’s pretty popular in the inland diving community of Vobster Quay. This diving destination is surprisingly located in the Somerset, UK countryside, and has been the gathering point for the annual Scuba Santa charity dive.

What Is the Scuba Santa Charity Drive?

Essentially, the way the event works, is that Santas gather on the water’s edge, egged on by charitable sponsorships, and dip into the water for a massive holiday-themed dive.

This year, the Vobster Quay dive smashed previous years’ attendance records, with a whopping 188 Santas who took the plunge in the deep  — and cold — inland waters. The Santas were diving for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) which is a UK-based charity whose purpose is to save lives at sea.

The 188 divers are now a world record holder for the most Scuba Santas to go diving at once.

Santa Scubas Raised More than $44K

Since the annual event was established in 2007, the Vobster Santas have raised more than $44K for the RNLI, and it looks like this year’s event will add another hefty boost to this organization. (In addition, the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance garnered $2200 in funds.)

Now, if you’ve never seen nearly 200 Santas plunging into the water, it’s quite a sight!

The Santas congregated for a group shot on the edge of Vobster Quay, where they were joined by a couple of life-jacket adorned pets, an elf or two, and the RNLI’s mascot, Stormy Stan. Santa jackets and hats were thrown on over wet suits, and the majority of the crowd donned big white beards – both above and under the water.

The event has picked up steam, and now a number of European diving centers are holding their own Scuba Santa events, particularly in England and Wales.

Scuba Santas Closer to Home

In case you missed the event, and have always wondered how Santa would navigate under the water, there may be opportunities to catch a Scuba Santa or two closer to home.

A number of aquariums around the world host annual “Scuba Santa” dives where a brave Santa Claus submerges into an on-site tank to feed, or just mingle, with some of the aquariums’ largest and most impressive species.

In the states, Santa can be found at the:

  • Oklahoma Aquarium
  • Cleveland Aquarium
  • Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey
  • Newport Aquarium in Kentucky
  • Zoo and Adventure Aquarium in Philadelphia,
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa

Divers in the Las Vegas area can even catch a glimpse of Santa at the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and then sign up for a river rafting boat tour along the Colorado River on Christmas Eve morning.

Whether it’s for charity, or just for fun, scuba fans (and especially their kids) will want to schedule an afternoon visit to the nearest Santa-approved aquarium to see the big guy show off his underwater moves.

And while this year’s massive Scuba Santa diving event is over, it’s not too early to start planning 2016’s trip to the UK to join in the record-breaking fun!

Would you consider participating in a Scuba Santa event? Or even start your own? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Rise of the Scuba Santas
'Tis the season for scuba diving Santas! Scuba Santas started as a charity fundraiser in the UK and you can see diving Santas at aquariums around the U.S. too.

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