Joel Parkinson blows up at YouTubers after rescue efforts
A group of YouTubers from the Gold Coast have posted a video of them being confronted by surfing legend Joel Parkinson for filming themselves sliding down a mud hill in the wake of damaging storms.
Parkinson spent several days in the Northern Rivers region of NSW last week assisting the community with flood rescues and distributing supplies, including in his home town of Murwillumbah.
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He had travelled to the Gold Coast after several days spent ferrying people via jetski, but was angered by the sight of the men sliding down Kirra Hill.
After the deluge of rain in the area, Kirra Hill was briefly a popular area to slide down, but the heavy rain and significant amount of damage to the turf has resulted in it becoming a muddy mess that was eventually roped off by the local council.
Footage posted online showed Parkinson angrily confronting the young men who had been sliding down the hill, admonishing them for the damage and demanding they 'show some respect'.
"That’s enough. Hey you f***ing idiots. Get the f*** off. People have lost their houses," he could be heard saying.
"You should be more responsible you f***wits. You know people lost everything in these floods."
However, Parkinson's intervention didn't go down well with the others, particularly after the surfing legend invoked the floods as a reason for his frustration.
"Oh settle down mate. Don’t bring that (the floods) into it. This is not someone losing their house in the floods bro, so don’t do that," one of them said.
“We know c**** who have lost their houses in the floods. What are you talking about?"
Shortly after a brief altercation appears to have broken out, with the camera filming being knocked onto the ground and into the mud.
Parkinson implored the group to 'have some respect' as the situation eased.
Joel Parkinson confronts 'disrespectful' YouTubers amid flood crisis
The surfing legend later told the Courier Mail that while the hill had initially been a place for harmless fun amid the deluge, the massive damage to the turf had left the area reeking of mud and requiring expensive repairs.
He also admitted that the camera filming had 'ended up in the mud' amid the brief altercation.
“They weren’t hurting anyone but I just thought it was disrespectful with everything the community was going through with the floods," he said.
“I’d put up a slip ‘n’ slide up for the kids on the first day of the rain but these guys were adults, we’d had two days of sun, the hill reeked of mud and they’d climbed over a fence the council had put up.”
None of the men involved, including Parkinson, are accused of any wrongdoing.
Gold Coast councillor Gail O'Neill said last week that the area eventually had to be cordoned off after complaints from nearby residents.
“Residents are a little bit upset by the third day, because it’s smelly and it’s actually quite a wide section of the hill now that’s just a muddy mess,” she said.
“Our maintenance crew will go in there and assess it once it dries out.”
Parkinson wasn't the only surfing legend to pitch in, with Mick Fanning surprising a northern New South Wales pharmacist after answering her plea for transport to her work through the flood-affected region.
On the morning of March 1, Skye Swift shared a post on Facebook asking if anyone in the community could help her get to her pharmacy, down the Tweed River, from her home after flood water closed off roads in the area.
Swift told Storyful that she originally got a lift on on a small boat, however, it had to stop during the trip and call for a jet ski to finish the journey because of shallow floodwaters.
According to the Guardian, Fanning and a fellow surfing champion, Joel Parkinson, had been ferrying stranded residents and distributing supplies to people badly hit by the floods.
Swift told the Guardian she was “stoked” and “grateful” when “a jetski turned up with Mick Fanning on it.”
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