Errant ‘Santa’ Rescued from Power Lines in California

A California man clad in a Santa Claus costume and strapped to a paraglider wound up needing to be rescued by firefighters after his ride went wildly awry. The bizarre yuletide incident reportedly occurred in the community of Rio Linda on Sunday morning when the unnamed individual took to the skies over the town with the intention of distributing candy canes to local children. Shortly after takeoff, however, the powered parachute suffered a malfunction and the faux Saint Nick’s journey hit a literal snag when he was swept up in some power lines.

Initially thinking that perhaps the strange calls about Santa being stuck in some power lines were a prank, police eventually realized that the reports were genuine and dispatched firefighters to go and save the man who was dangling upside down over a road. As one might imagine, the weird scene drew quite a crowd as resident Colleen Bousliman marveled that “half the town was down here,” including several children hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Father Christmas.

Fortunately, the youngsters were spared the therapy-inducing scenario of seeing Santa Claus fried by some power lines as firefighters cut the electricity to the area and safely brought the jolly pilot, who was uninjured in the event, back down to terra firma. “It’s a good thing they caught him, but didn’t electrocute him,” Bousliman said in what may be the understatement of the holiday season. Reflecting on the “unfortunate” incident, firefighter Chris Vestal commended the man for wanting to spread some cheer in the community by way of his well-intentioned, but ill-fated candy cane misadventure.

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