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Surfer Dies Catching Hurricane Wave

September 08, 2017

A promising young surfer has died while catching a wave off the coast of Barbados.

While Hurricane Irma is heading north-west, away from Barbados, the massive category five storm is sending huge swells back towards the island.

Zander Venezia, a rising star of Caribbean surfing, had been riding these waves on Tuesday morning when he was knocked down by a closeout set – a type of wave which blocks a surfer’s path.

The enormous wave plunged Venezia onto the reef below, where he hit his head on the shallow, rocky bottom.

The 16-year-old Barbadian was left bleeding and unconscious, floating in the surf. Venezia was pulled to shore by his surfing companions, where one of them began to perform CPR.

According to surf instructor Alan Burke: “The ambulance came really quick, for coming from the other side of the island, and continued to try and revive him. But when they got him to the hospital, apparently his neck was broken.”

Venezia, named one of Barbados’s most promising junior surfers by local newspaper Nation News, was pronounced dead on Tuesday afternoon.

Venezia spoke his tragic last words to a friend right before the fateful wave took him: “I just got the best wave of my life!” This final wave was captured by photographer Jimmy Wilson.

Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous category five storm, set to pass many islands before heading towards Florida.

Image: Zander Venezia catches his final wave [online image] (2017) sourced on 7 September 2017 from http://stabmag.com/assets/post-slider-images/_resampled/ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0-0JCN3590b-1.jpg.