Pro Surfer Dies in Barbados After Catching Irma Wave

Junior surfer Zander Venezia was just 16 years old.

Promising Young Pro Surfer Dies on Irma Wave
(Zander Venezia/Instagram)

Hurricane Irma has already made landfall and left 10 people dead—one of which was a promising young surfer from Barbados.

According to Surfline, 16-year-old Zander Venezia, a professional surfer from Bridgetown, Barbados, was catching giant waves produced by Irma at a local surf break known as “Box by Box” on Tuesday, when he reportedly lost his footing and hit a shallow reef. Per surf instructor Alan Burke, who is close to the Venezia family, the autopsy revealed that the young surfer was “knocked unconscious and drowned.”

A post shared by Zander Venezia (@zandervenezia) on

Venezia’s reported last words were “I just got the best wave of my life!”

At just 16, Venezia was an up-and-coming (and decorated) surf star. At 11, he had been the reigning under-12 National Champion. He scored an open juniors title at the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s East Coast Regional Championship back in April and just last month, had won the 16-and-under division at the Rip Curl GromSearch.


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