Santa touched down on the lawn of Station Menemsha Sunday afternoon with a big bag of gifts for the kids of Coasties who serve there. In lieu of his sleigh, he took a yellow helicopter.
Santa visited several Coast Guard Stations Sunday as part of the work he does with Friends of Flying Santa, a nonprofit that keeps alive a 90-year-old tradition of bringing holiday cheer to isolated families. As The Times previously reported, that tradition was begun by Capt. William Wincapaw, a Maine aviator who used lighthouse beacons to help navigate. Wincapaw decided to thank the families who kept those beacons lit. The tradition was taken up by Capt. Wincapaw’s son, Bill Wincapaw Jr., and then by Edward Rowe Snow.
Friends of Flying Santa reaches about 100 Coast Guard units from New York to Maine. Brian Tague runs Friends of Flying Santa in its modern version. He previously told The Times that Coast Guard families look forward to Santa’s helicopter visit.