16-year-old Zander Venezia, an up-and-coming pro surfer, was killed this past Tuesday on the east coast of Barbados while attempting to surf a mega swell caused by Hurricane Irma, according to Surfline. Venezia was believed to have broken his neck after colliding with the shallow reef prior to the release of an official autopsy report. But, as surf instructor Alan Burke told E!, the cause of death turned out to be drowning.
"Autopsy came back," Burke said. "He was knocked unconscious and drowned. No fractures."
Venezia had been pulled out of the water, unresponsive, by fellow surf pro Nathan Florence. As you likely guessed, he was also unresponsive to revival efforts (a.k.a. "75 minutes of nonstop CPR") from both his colleagues, as well as paramedics.
Venezia's death has had a msjot impact on the surfing world, as evidenced by a tribute posted onto Instagram on Wednesday by Kelly Slater, who had taken this picture with Venezia when Zander was just five years old:
Stay safe out there.