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Scuba Santas making a splash this holiday season

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    Dec. 9, 2012: Jerry Cowley, aquatic safety manager at the Silverton Hotel-Casino interacts with children as an underwater Santa Claus at the casino's aquarium in Las Vegas. (AP)

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    Santa and his elf, played by Heather Carrasco, pose for pictures. (AP)

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    Underwater Santa at the Silverton Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. (AP)

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    Underwater Santa at the Silverton Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. (AP)

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    Underwater Santa at the Silverton Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. (AP)

Sorry, Rudolph--Santa is spreading holiday cheer this year with the help of some scuba gear.

Visitors to the Silverton Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas can see the jolly, red-suited man, beard and all, drift and float in the 117-gallon aquarium. Underwater Santa, played by aquatic safety manager Jerry Cowley, poses for non-traditional photos, takes present requests and interacts with spectators as sharks, stingrays and colorful fish swim about. You can see Underwater Santa on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Dec. 23.  

But you don’t have to go to Vegas to see Santa in flippers. Sport Chalet Scuba Centers throughout California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah are hosting their own Scuba Santa events from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 15. Children 10 and older can suit up in scuba gear and get an underwater photo with Old Saint Nick, while the younger ones can get their picture taken snorkeling with Santa.

The Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati is home to another Scuba Santa, and this one will read you a special underwater edition of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” See Scuba Santa and his magical dive show now through Jan. 1.