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With the festive season upon us and Father Christmas busy planning his festive deliveries, one skydive company is busy training a new wave of aspiring Santa Claus' - in case an emergency sleigh evacuation is needed this Christmas.

As the nation's obsession with health and safety continues, it seems even Father Christmas cannot escape its clutches - and so one enterprising skydive company is offering a brand new solution to help them overcome the festive red tape.

GoSkydive, the UK's premier tandem skydive centre, has created a first-of-its-kind training school for budding Santas this Christmas - 'Santa Skydive Training School' - teaching the wannabes to skydive from their sleigh should a fault occur mid-air and an emergency evacuation be required.

Welcoming the first of its recruits earlier this week, GoSkydive put half a dozen jolly aspiring Santas through their paces with a hands-on tandem skydive instructor training session.

Before taking to the skies, the Santa students completed a rigorous on-the-ground training session with GoSkydive's team of experienced instructors, which included learning the freefall and landing positions in the centre's simulated training area. Once adorned in their traditional Father Christmas wear and sack of presents ready to go, the budding Santas boarded the plane with their tandem skydive instructors and travelled up to the heady heights of 15,000ft - the UK's highest tandem skydive altitude.

With their target delivery area in sight, the Santa students jumped from the plane to experience up to 60 seconds of freefall reaching speeds of up to 125mph - that's enough to make even the most seasoned Santa's cheeks turn red. With their parachutes deployed, the Santas floated back down to solid ground with presents intact, ready for delivery.

Open to both novice and experienced Santas, existing skydiving experience is not required to attend the Santa Skydive Training School with 'first-timers' being a speciality for GoSkydive. The tandem skydive specialists are also able to cope with the heavier build of a traditional Father Christmas thanks to its higher weight limit at 18-stone rather than the industry standard of 15-stone. Age is also not an issue, having jumped adrenaline junkies aged up to 95-years old.

Gordon Blamire, founder and Managing Director for GoSkydive who conceived the Santa Skydiving Training School concept, commented: “We developed the Santa Skydiving Training School to overcome the health and safety red tape aspiring Santas are facing this year. We were hearing reports of Father Christmas not being able to deliver all his presents this year and wanted to lend a helping hand - tandem skydiving provides an ideal solution should he experience any sleigh issues.

"GoSkydive is the only centre that specialises in tandem skydives for ‘first-timers’, so we’re used to helping our visitors manage those first time nerves- and our novice Santas will be no different. We look forward to welcoming many more Santas in training over the coming weeks."

For more information and to book a tandem skydive visit www.goskydive.com

GoSkydive is the UK’s premier tandem skydive centre - the only centre that specialises in tandem skydives for ‘first-timers’.  It offers the UK’s highest skydive at 15,000ft with up to 60 seconds of free fall.  It is located at the Old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury, Wiltshire on the south coast of England within easy reach of Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Winchester and the New Forest, and just 90 minutes from London.  GoSkydive operates throughout the year with jumps on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

James Clark


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Santa Skydiving Training School opens
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