By David Aspinall
Forget the Santa Dash, this Father Christmas made a Santa splash after falling off a boat into the sea.
Pulling up to the NSRI Annual Children’s Christmas in Bakoven, South Africa, on December 8, Steve Raucher was ready to surprise the waiting kids.
Standing on the front of a speedboat, the volunteer first responder gets his foot stuck as he tries to jump off the bow of the NSRI Rescue Boat onto the beach below.
Unable to stop himself, he goes tumbling into the shallows before quickly getting to his feet and pumping the air before walking off.
The video has been viewed more than 11 million times on social media, Steven is not embarrassed and hopes it will raise the profile of the South African National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Charity.
Steven said: “There were no injuries – not even my pride was hurt!
“I styled it out, hence the fist pump.”
Steven – who has been a volunteer first responder since November 2015 – has had a great respect for the NSRI ever since they recovered his brother from the sea on December 11, 2006.
Unfortunately, that day they were unable to save Robert Raucher – known as Bobby – from drowning.
As a direct result of that tragedy, Steve – a former investment banker in London – co-founded a company called RapidDeploy.com – a cloud-based dispatch platform designed to massively reduce times for first responders.
Steven said: “It’s fantastic the video has generated so much interest for the NSRI
“Hopefully the interest translates into donations for the NSRI.
“There are more than 1000 volunteers first responders on duty every week in South Africa.
“Please donate generously.”
To donate to the NSRI please visit https://www.givengain.com/c/nsri/donate#start