A 16-year-old surfer from Barbados has died after being injured in waves connected to Hurricane Irma.
According to People magazine, junior pro surfer Zander Venezia was surfing on the east coast of Barbados with a group of other pre-professional and professional surfers when he was knocked from his board by waves swelled by the hurricane.
Venezia hit his head on a reef and became unconscious, People reported.
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Venezia, who was bleeding and unresponsive, when he was pulled from the water, was still breathing by the time he got to a hospital, Surfline reported.
Surfing instructor Alan Burke told Surfline an autopsy showed Venezia was knocked unconscious and drowned. Venezia died at the hospital.
In a tribute, SURFER Magazine described Venezia as “one of the Caribbean’s most talented young surfers.”
“Zander was a positive boy, who always had a smile on his face that was contagious,” said his sister, Bella Venezia. “He loved his family and friends so much and knew how proud we all were of him and his accomplishments.”
The Venezia family began to use #LiveLikeZander for friends to share their memories.
A funeral is planned for Sept. 13. A paddle out will be scheduled after the funeral.
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