As Hurricane Irma evolved into a Category 5 storm today, it also tragically took the life of a young pro surfer from Barbados.
According to Surfline, 16-year-old Zander Venezia was surfing at a shallow, notoriously heavy wave on the east coast of Barbados when he wiped out and sustained a broken neck on the reef.
Venezia was pulled from the water by pro surfer Nathan Florence, who attempted to perform CPR. Florence and a crew of others got Venezia to the beach and an ambulance arrived quicker than expected, but Venezia was bleeding and not moving. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital with a broken neck.
Original Bajan pro surfer Alan Burke told Surfline, "Completely horrible news. We are in shambles."
Venezia was not out of his element in the heavy conditions, as he was a very promising young professional and by all accounts had a bright future ahead in surfing.
USA Surfing also announced the terrible news in a Facebook post and video:
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Venezia’s friends and family. Rest in peace, Zander.
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