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Scuba Diving Santa Brings Holiday Cheer To Keys

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Spencer Slate, garbed as a scuba-diving Santa Claus, eyes a green moray eel Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, while submerged off Key Largo, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Spencer Slate, garbed as a scuba-diving Santa Claus, eyes a green moray eel Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, while submerged off Key Largo, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

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OFF KEY LARGO (CBSMiami) — Yes Virginia, there was a scuba-diving Santa Claus in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Santa Claus was played by Spencer Slate, owner of Key Largo’s Atlantis Dive Shop, who for several years has submerged in the signature red-and-white jolly man’s attire to entertain customers and raise funds for a local children’s charity.

During his underwater excursion Tuesday afternoon near the wreck of the City of Washington, Santa encountered several marine critters including a goliath grouper and green moray eel that seemed fascinated with his presence.

The City of Washington, a sailing vessel once used for passenger transport and cargo trade between New York, Cuba and Mexico, sank in 1892 and is part of the historic Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail.

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