NEAR THE NORTH POLE: Rescue operations continued into the night after Santa's Workshop sank into the Arctic Ocean Saturday night.

"The Arctic icepack has been getting thinner and thinner every year," said Evelyn Rocktell, former Assistant Administrator of the USEPA, "so it is no surprise the Workshop finally fell through the ice."

The Canadian Coast Guard immediately dispatched a search vessel to the North Pole to look for Santa.

The Canadian rescue ship reported hearing the sound of tapping from the wreckage of Santa's Workshop, which is lying at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean  about 30 miles from the North Pole. A special recovery submarine has been dispatched to the site.

"Polar bears have been struggling for at least two years due to the loss of ice up there," said Rocktell, "but that didn't seem to trigger any urgency from the US government to try and reverse climate change."

"Bush even fought naming polar bears an endangered species," Rocktell added.

Santa's Workshop sinking may change the political climate.

"If Santa becomes an endangered species, we all might be next," said Rocktell.

Santa  immediately asked the US government for a bailout.

"We're not seeking financial assistance, because we're obviously not a bank," said a spokesman for Santa, "but with the Workshop on the bottom of the ocean we've got a big problem."

Santa reportedly requested  an oil drilling platform be towed to the North Pole as a temporary location for the workshop.

"We suspect they've got oil drilling stuff somewhere around northern Alaska because of all the clamoring for drilling during the election" said a spokesman for Santa.

Santa doesn't have a long term plan for keeping the Workshop at the North Pole, though advisors reportedly have suggested a giant Styrofoam raft that at least looks like ice.

"It is pretty clear that it will be a long time before things return to normal up here," said an elvish scientist working for Santa. "And we have a lot of work to do so some kind of temporary fix is needed."

US President George W. Bush took a break from his attempts at giving taxpayer money away to his Wall Street buddies, and offered his prayers for Santa.