RIO LINDA (CBS13) – It was a live-streamed rescue of Santa Claus as the big guy twisted and tangled high above Rio Linda after he was parasailing and hit a power pole.
Mike Hawthorne knew right away something was wrong.
“If I’m being completely honest, I was actually using the restroom and the power went out when I was trying to use the restroom,” he said.
Hawthorne went down the street and started live-streaming for the Rio Linda Messenger Facebook page as people all around the country started watching.
“Knowing that he wasn’t injured, I was more entertained to see how he was going to get down,” Hawthorne said.
Hundreds of followers began posting comments, with many finding comedy in this pre-Christmas drama. Some said, “Just hang in there Santa” or “Start a go fund me for Santa” and “Rudolph is at home with COVID.”
Then there was a twist. Hawthorne told his viewers he was running low on battery, and Santa was still stuck.
“Just got to 10 percent,” Hawthorne said, and later added, “[I’m going to] let this thing ride out until my phone dies, so if it ends that means my phone dies.”
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The response from the live-stream was a chorus of concern – with comments like “where’s your power pack dude lol” and “someone get this man a charger.”
Santa’s Rio Linda rescue, just days before he will be delivering gifts to families everywhere, was streamed live and watched far and wide thanks to the steady hand of this Santa-saving helper.
“That was my first time ever live-streaming anything like that, and the turnout was way more than I thought it would have been,” Hawthorne said.