Tamanique, El Salvador, Mar 23 (efe-epa).- Dozens of local and foreign surfers on Tuesday held a ceremony at sea for Salvadoran Katherine Diaz, a 22-year-old sportswoman who died last week after being struck by lightning at a beach in El Salvador.
Dressed in white shirts with the image of Diaz, and carrying white roses, the surfers gathered before the waters of the Pacific Ocean and held a one-minute silence in honor of their fellow surfer.
The surfers then entered some 500 meters into the sea with the floral offerings and paid tribute to Diaz, with dozens of friends and family watching from the beach.
“She was a good surfer, it was her dream. She wanted to surpass herself more and more. She used to tell me ‘I’m going to represent El Salvador’,” said Amelia Hernandez, Diaz’s mother.
Hernandez recalled that it had been just three days that her daughter had returned to the country and had plans such as decreasing the use of plastic at her native place.
Milton Flores, of the Salvadoran Surfing Federation, said Diaz’s death was “something sudden and instant.”
“When she made her way into the sea to surf, suddenly the lightning struck and we saw her fall, she was given immediate assistance,” Flores told local media.
He added that she was declared dead when brought to a local health center.
Milton stressed that “Katherine was a leader” in the world of surfing and her loss was a jolt to sport in El Salvador.
Diaz was introduced to surfing at the age of nine, and participated in the Junior World championships in 2012 and World Open 2013 in Panama, and also in the WSL Qualify Series in El Salvador in 2015 and 2016.
Her last official participation, according to the local media El Grafico, was at the National Surfing Circuit in November 2020, where she came first in the Women’s Open category. EFE-EPA