FATHER Christmas will brave the seas to sail into Clacton on the town’s lifeboat next weekend.

Santa will visit the town to deliver presents to children during the free event at Clacton RNLI’s station in Hastings Avenue.

He will arrive in Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat on Sunday, December 9.

More than 500 people often turn out for the annual event, which stretches back more than 20 years.

Crew spokesman Richard Wigley said: “The volunteers of Clacton RNLI will be hosting their annual Santa event at the boathouse, where children can come and meet Santa for free, which will conclude a busy weekend of festive cheer.

"Every year, after an intensive few months of training, Santa’s reindeers, including Rudolf, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen spend a few days at a secret location nearby, having a medical and a little rest and relaxation while the sleigh is serviced and undergoes a MOT inspection, in readiness for their big night.

"Santa takes this opportunity to take the reins of Clacton’s Atlantic class lifeboat David Porter MPS, subject to operational commitments, and bring a little Christmas cheer early to Clacton.

"This year Santa is due to make his arrival at the Hastings Avenue boathouse at 11am where he will be met by his old friend Stormy Stan and shown to a specially constructed grotto within the boathouse, where he will meet the children gathered individually to check their wish list and offer a free present.

"This annual free event is a way for the volunteers of Clacton RNLI to say thank you to the community for their support over the past year."

The day before Stormy Stan and volunteers will be undertaking their annual 300 mile round trip delivering all the gifts donated by the local community and businesses for this year’s Christmas Appeal.