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Hurricane Irma: Barbados surfer Zander Venezia dies in massive swell

Friday September 8, 2017 - 08:52 EST
Audience submitted image
Barbados surfer Zander Venezia was on course for a successful career on the professional circuit. - Audience submitted

A teenage Barbados surfer is among the victims of Hurricane Irma after reportedly being knocked unconscious while surfing a huge storm swell with fellow professionals.

Zander Venezia, 16, reportedly drowned as Irma closed in on the east coast of Barbados, and driving huge waves into beaches on the Caribbean nation.

The teenager was on course for a successful career on the professional circuit, having won the Rip Curl Grom Search event last month in North Carolina.

Fellow surfers and photographers rushed to pull him from the water and administered CPR but were unable to revive him, according to photographer Jimmy Wilson.

"His board was tombstoning, he was underwater," he told surfing publication Stab.

"I got a photo of his last wave. But he made that wave. Didn't fall. I think it might have happened on his way in.

"We're not really sure what happened, other than he told someone he was going in."

Hurricane Irma has ploughed past the Dominican Republic toward Haiti after devastating a string of Caribbean islands and killing at least 10 people as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century continued on its path towards Florida.


© ABC 2017

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