‘Officer Santa’ on Mainland rescues stranded Victoria-bound kids caught in travel chaos

'Officer Santa' on Mainland rescues stranded Victoria-bound kids caught in travel chaos

Like Santa in his sleigh, it was an RCMP officer to the rescue of two Victoria-bound children stranded on the Mainland amid flight cancellations on Christmas Eve, according to RCMP.

Frigid temperatures and winter weather conditions meant travel plans were altered for many British Columbians on Dec. 24, including for two kids stuck at Kelowna International Airport (YLW).

Travelling from Alberta, the 12 and 13-year-old had a stopover in Kelowna and were bound for B.C.’s capital before travel woes came their way, nearly costing them a family Christmas.

By 8 a.m. on Dec. 23, YLW said 26 flights were already cancelled, as 10 others were delayed and staff warned more cancellations were likely in the coming days due to forecast weather.

“Travelling alone, they were headed to the Island to see their mother, but their connecting flight through Kelowna was cancelled after they had already landed,” Kelowna RCMP told CHEK News in an emailed statement.

The kids had nowhere to go, prompting a local Mountie to lend a helping hand and pick them up from the airport, talk to their parents and get them a hotel room for the night, where they were treated to pizza and candy.

“He explained the situation to the hotel staff, and together they got the kids settled into a room and back to the airport the next day to catch a flight to Victoria and reunited with mom on Christmas Day,” said RCMP.

In a Facebook message, the kids’ mother thanked the officer for getting her “precious cargo” home for the holidays, safe and sound.

“My kids were stranded in a city they didn’t know without friends or family. As a parent, I felt so helpless living in Victoria and (having) no way of getting to them as there were no more ferries that evening,” the mom said in the message to Kelowna RCMP.

“It truly does take a village, and my heart cannot thank you enough for taking such good care of my precious cargo,” she added.

Mike Della-Paolera, media relations officer for Kelowna RCMP, is also applauding the responding officer and says he “showed the true meaning” of Christmas.

“We are very proud of the work we do each and every day, and this is an incredible story of how one of our team members went above and beyond on Christmas Eve,” added Della-Paolera.

READ MORE: Transport minister will meet with committee investigating holiday travel woes

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!