RIO LINDA, Calif. (AP) — Santa found himself a little more tied up than usual this time of year.
A Northern California man impersonating Santa Claus and flying on a powered parachute was rescued Sunday after he became entangled in power lines, authorities said.
The incident happened shortly after the man took off near a school in Rio Linda to deliver candy canes to children in his community. He flew into a maze of power lines and wound up suspended in them, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman told KCRA-TV.
The man, who wasn’t identified, was not injured.
Video from the rescue shows the red-white-and-blue aircraft dangling overhead as Santa sat fastened to the pilot seat.
Neighbors watched from the ground as crews worked.
Colleen Bousliman, who lives nearby, said the pilot flies overhead often.
“He flies just around so people can see and flies around people’s houses,” she said. “This was the first time he was in his Santa suit.”
Power was shut off during the rescue to about 200 customers in the Rio Linda area, according to Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Chris Vestal.
“It’s unfortunate, but we all need to remember that there’s still a lot of good out in the world, there are people doing good things and to look at the brightness of the holiday season,” Vestal said.
He said it didn’t take long to rescue the costumed pilot and lower him to safety.
“W/o a scratch & full of good cheer we made sure Old St. Nick will use his reindeer when he sees you later this year,” the fire department said in a tweet after the incident.