Teenage Pro Surfer Zander Venezia Dies in Barbados Wave Accident During Hurricane Irma

16-year-old pro surfer Zander Venezia died in a wave accident in Barbados during Hurricane Irma.

A picture of 16 year old pro surfer Zander Venezia.

Image via Instagram

A picture of 16 year old pro surfer Zander Venezia.

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 reefprior 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.

Latest in Sports