Flying Santa Lands in Maine for Coast Guard Families

ROCKLAND, Maine -- The weather was perfect Sunday as the Flying Santa made stops along the Maine coast.

Santa delivered presents for children of U.S. Coast Guard crew members from Jonesport to Portland.

Flying Santa is a tradition that dates back to 1929 when Capt. William Wincapaw of Friendship, Maine, began the flights as a gesture of recognition to the dedicated lighthouse keepers and their families, as well as the crews of the lifesaving stations, according to the website for the Friends of Flying Santa.

This year, Flying Santa arrived by helicopter at Buoy Park on Rockland's waterfront shortly before noon. Santa was then given a police escort to the adjacent Maine Lighthouse Museum where family members of Coast Guard crew members were gathered.

Rockland is a Coast Guard City, with a station a few hundred yards from where the helicopter landed.

Santa had earlier made stops that included Jonesport, Southwest Harbor and Castine, with later stops scheduled for Pemaquid Point, Boothbay Harbor and Portland.

Donations can be made to the nonprofit organization Friends of the Flying Santa, based in Stoneham, Massachusetts, by going to its website

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