TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas congressman’s 10-second naked plunge into the sea where the Bible says Jesus walked on water prompted apologies Monday from him, head-shaking from other Republicans and the kind of international attention that no politician wants.

Rep. Kevin Yoder is all but certain to keep his seat despite any embarrassment arising from last year’s incident in Israel because Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate against him.

But the freshman Republican acknowledged many of his constituents are wondering what he was thinking when he took his “spontaneous” skinny dip in the Sea of Galilee in August 2011.

Other lawmakers on the trip also went into the water at what’s considered a holy site for many Christians, and Yoder said their actions earned them a rebuke from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. But Politico reported Sunday that Yoder was the only one who wore no clothes.

“It’s certainly not an incident that I’m proud of,” Yoder said. “It is something that was obviously a mistake on my part, and I want folks in the district to know that I’m apologetic for it.”

The tabloid press in Britain and the United States pounced on the story, with the New York Daily News blaring online, “NUDES fLASH!” and describing Yoder as a “skinny-dipping pol.”

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, criticized Yoder’s behavior during an interview with a New Hampshire television station.

“I think it’s reprehensible,” Romney told WMUR-TV. “I think it’s another terrible mistake by individuals.”

Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon called Yoder’s behavior “inexcusable” and said if the incident had occurred in Kansas, he would be forced to resign. Wagnon later issued a statement calling for him to step down.

Another Kansas Republican, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, said he believed “something stupid occurred, and I think from time to time people do stupid things.”