A teenage pro surfer died Tuesday while trying to surf in the large swells generated by Hurricane Irma, according to media reports.
Zander Venezia of Barbados was among a group of pro surfers on the island who set out “to catch the mega-swell currently being generated by Hurricane Irma,” according to Surfline.com, which first reported Venezia’s death. Venezia was 16.
“Horrible news,” original Bajan pro-turned-surf instructor Alan Burke told Surfline. “I feel empty, we are in shambles over here. I wasn’t there [at the spot], but my wife has been with the Venezia family at the hospital.”
Venezia was surfing off the east coast of the island when he was swept into the rocky shallows, Surfline reported. He reportedly suffered a fatal neck injury.
Barbados avoided the worst of Irma, according to Barbados Today, but on the same day of Venezia’s death, the outlet reported a home on Barbados had its roof ripped off by winds from Irma.
An outpouring of support has been shared on social media for the teen surfer.