A young surfer has tragically died whilst surfing gigantic-swell waves in Barbados during Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma devastation
As Hurricane Irma closed in on the east coast of Barbados, it brought with it winds of about 290 kilometres per hour. This created huge waves at Caribbean beaches.
A young star lost
Sixteen year old Zander Venezia reportedly drowned after hitting his head on the shallow reef whilst surfing a huge storm swell with fellow professionals.
Zander had a bright surfing future having recently won a Rip Curl Grom Search event in the US.
The surfing community has paid tribute to young Zander on social media.
Dylan Slater: “Zander passed away while surfing today after catching what he said was the best wave of his life. He was knocked unconscious when he hit his head on the reef, taking a long hold down for a number of waves. Friends and fellow surfers aided in a rescue attempt but his injuries were greater than could be addressed making him the first victim, by default, of Hurricane Irma.”
Jason Obenauer: “I have been sitting for hours in utter shock and disbelief of the passing of Zander Venezia in big surf in Barbados today! In the short time I knew you it was easy to feel like I have known you a lifetime! You made everyone laugh and smile around you and will be terribly missed!”
Asher Nolan: “I’m going to miss you so much Zander! You had such an amazing session today. Surfed for 4 hours. You were charging and had the happiest smile on your face everytime I saw you. You were a humble, respectful, full of positive energy that every kid should look up too and live the way you did. Gone too soon. My heart is heavy. The Venezia’s always treated me like family and it hurts that they have to go through losing someone so special.”
by Michael T. Lynch – contributor