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Ripples #51

Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

 
Belated Apology for Booze-Fueled 
Skinny-Dipping in Sea of Galilee 
 
As you may have heard by now, a year ago a group of Republican lawmakers on a visit to the Holy Land were dining at a restaurant next to the Sea of Galilee when about half of the 30 members of Congress went for an impromptu dip. 
 
According to a report on politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, there was a fair amount of drinking 
going on that night, which may help explain why one of the legislators — Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas — went in without a stitch of clothing. (Some of the participants later contended “they dived in for religious reasons.”) 
 
The episode, which took place August 4, 2011, only came to the attention of the public recently due to a report on Politico.com. But what went down apparently did not escape the notice of the FBI. According to politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com
 
A law enforcement official said the FBI looked at the incident in Israel, saying the late-night swimming was probed to determine if U.S. officials were putting themselves at risk, or if any information the lawmakers possessed could have been exposed by a night of drinking and partying. This official did not believe there was any damage.
 
The CNN blog went on to report, “Yoder…was among the last to jump in, and was the only one who was completely nude. As he dived into the water naked, someone screamed that he was not wearing any clothes, according to the GOP sources. Soon after that the swim came to an end.” Indeed. 
 
Given that the Sea of Galilee is where the New Testament says Jesus walked on water and performed other miracles, inebriated skinny-dipping doesn’t seem to be in keeping with the sanctity with which Christians regard the location. Congressman Yoder has apologized in a written statement: "Regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.” He went on to note: "It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.” 
 
Amen, brother…amen. 
 
Learn more: According to the CNN article, the political…er…stuff hit the fan as soon as Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor got wind of the incident. To read more about what ensued, click here
 
 
Once again, young British royals Prince William (the good one) and Prince Harry (the bad one) have made headlines — as usual, for very different reasons. 
 
Prince William Helps to   
Rescue Drowning Teen 
 
An article on cnn.com reported that Prince William, a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, played a key role in saving a 16-year-old girl off the Welsh coast. The teenager was caught in a riptide and likely would have drowned had assistance not arrived in time. 
 
William, piloting a British Sea King helicopter, rushed to the scene and hovered over the struggling swimmer. A paramedic was lowered to the girl, who was exhausted and had just started going under. The CNN report quoted the paramedic as saying, “…this was one rescue where we truly did arrive in the nick of time and managed to save this young girl’s life.” 
 
Ripples salutes Prince William (known as Flight Lt. Wales to his military compatriots) and the other members of the rescue team. Job well done! 
 
Video: To watch a video of Prince William graduating from the Search and Rescue Force helicopter pilot training program in 2010, click here
 
 
Prince Harry Races Against 
Ryan Lochte Fully Clothed 
 
Prince Harry, on the other hand, has received another dose of less-than-positive publicity: This time TMZ.com published nude photos of the prince during a game of “strip pool” (that’s pool as in billiards) at a raucous Las Vegas party. Clarence House, the official residence of the two princes, has confirmed that the naked person in the photo is Harry. 
 
A short while before Harry got in his birthday suit, hollywoodreporter.com reveals, he was in another pool (that’s pool as in swimming pool), fully clothed, competing in a two-man race against Ryan Lochte. The Olympian also swam fully clothed at Harry’s suggestion. 
 
Needless to say, Lochte won the gold medal in that matchup; he later described the event during an appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (see video link below). 
 
The third in line for the British throne seems to be a bit mixed up when it comes to standard clothing protocol: Usually people take off most of what they’re wearing to go swimming (please note most, Congressman Yoder) but keep their clothes on at parties. 
 
This was not the first time Harry went swimming in public while clothed: In the Sept. 14, 2011 edition of this column, Ripples reported on an incident in which the prince, partying at an open-air nightclub in Croatia, plunged into the establishment’s pool fully dressed. 
 
At the time, the report on news.ninemsn.com.au noted, “An onlooker told the newspaper [that] Harry ‘seemed really tipsy’ and was untroubled at being the center of attention. ‘Everyone thought it was really funny and Harry was laughing his head off.’” 
 
Ripples speculates that if Queen Elizabeth, grandmother of both princes, were no longer with us, she undoubtedly would be turning over in her grave in response to Harry’s latest escapade. Since Her Majesty is very much alive, she’s probably only gnashing her royal teeth and asking, “What did we do to deserve this?!” 
 
Photos: If you happen to be the last person on earth who hasn’t seen the photos of Prince Harry naked, click here. Don’t miss the strategically placed star on the second image.  
Video: To watch Ryan Lochte on Jimmy Fallon’s show, click here. He describes his swimming race with Prince Harry toward the end of the five-minute clip. 
 
 
Endurance Swimmer Diana Nyad: 
Fourth Time’s Not the Charm
 
We conclude this installment of Ripples on a sad note: Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad’s fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida, which began on August 18, ended in failure, again due to extremely painful stings from jellyfish and a summer squall that blew her off course. 
 
Additionally, there were numerous sharks in the water while she was swimming; as in her past attempts, she was not inside a shark cage. In 1997, an Australian swimmer, Susie Maroney, did successfully traverse the entire distance of 103 miles, but she was in a protective cage. 
 
Nyad, who was about to turn 63 at the time of the latest swim, was forced to abandon the attempt on the morning of August 21, after swimming 41 hours, 45 minutes and reaching approximately the halfway mark.  
 
The Web site espn.go.com quoted her as saying, “I've been dreaming of this crossing for 35 years now and tried it four times. And should I say that there's no disappointment? No. I'm not going to get that moment I dreamed of for so long." 
 
But she also observed, "I didn't get that final moment, but what a magnificent experience it all was.” 
 
Videos: To watch an ABC News report on the end of Nyad’s fourth attempt, click here.  To watch a CNN interview with Nyad following the swim, click here.
 
 
And with that, Ripples once again says… 
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!
 

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