Cyprus’ water enthusiasts, whose street surfing videos during last weekend’s flood went viral, say they are professionals and only had some fun after torrential rain that forecasters got wrong.
Videos showing young men surfing flooded streets in Protaras went viral after torrential rain on the weekend.
Two of the men who appeared on local television later said they were professionals who owned water sports businesses in the area, adding they would not advise beginners to surf in such dangerous conditions.
“Such a thing had never happened before in Protaras,” said Kyriacos who owns a water sports business.
A group of friends toured the town after heavy rains in the area, Kyriacos said, adding that they then decided to go home and grab their kayaks “to take advantage of the situation.”
“Whenever there is harsh weather, we go out with friends to look around. We love nature, seeing inclement conditions, rough seas,” Kyriacos said.
Andreas, who owns a different local water sports business, told the interviewer he was only driving in the flooded streets, pulling Kyriacos’ brother who was showing off his advanced water skiing skills.
VIDEO: People waterski and kayak through flooded streets in Protaras, a seaside resort in Cyprus, after torrential rains. pic.twitter.com/RQdpLozbxI— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 16, 2023
“We just chose to see the comedic aspect of the whole thing,” Kyriacos said.
“Some of the local business owners who were collecting their items from the water cracked a smile when they saw us,” Kyriacos said.
The young men, who also do extreme sports, said they did not disregard the suffering that came due to the unexpected floods, saying they actually helped people after their bit of fun, such as transporting tourists to their hotels and pulling a man to safety.
Weather officials did not confirm whether the flood was unexpected but head state meteorologist Kleanthis Nicolaides said they would investigate to see if a warning could have been issued based for the specific flood.
“Was there lack of data? A failure to forecast? Is this due to human error? We will answer these questions. We are not after condemning people but simply improving on the services we provide,” Nicolaides said.
The water sports enthusiasts also warned others not to copy their actions, clarifying that water currents are dangerous.
They also said they were surprised to see people in small cars trying to drive through moving water, with Kyriacos saying “we had 4x4 powerful vehicles and we still had to think twice about entering some locations.”
“It’s our job,” Andreas said, while Kyriacos was adamant in his advice to others, calling on drivers to “stop, turn back, and drive away” in such situations.