US border patrol to escort Surfing Santa across the Niagara River

John R. Fulton, known as "The Surfing Santa," waves a final goodbye to onlookers on the Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada shoreline of the Niagara River, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002



FORT ERIE, ON - US border patrol agents plan to make sure Surfing Santa makes it across the Niagara River safely this year.

For the past 28 years, John Fulton, also known as Surfing Santa, has been dressing up like Santa and embarking on a wind-surfing trip across the Niagara River into the US to bring attention to the plight of the homeless worldwide.

In the past, Fulton has had some run-ins with border patrol in the US One year, he was arrested for illegally entering the country. But last year, US border patrol rescued him after heavy winds snapped his mast halfway through his journey.

That's why U.S. border patrol offered to escort him across the river this year.

"He had an issue last year and we were in the right place at the right time. We already have a vessel out there anyway. If he needs help we'll be there to provide it," said Mike Scioli, lead border patrol agent.

Fulton asks the public to take some of their stuff, toys, food, clothes, blankets, cash, etc., and find a shelter, a homeless person, family, charity and make a donation because shelters and food banks have a greater need than ever during these tough economic times.

He is currently the longest-running surfing Santa in the world.

He will cross the river Dec. 23, beginning at 9 a.m.

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