Washington (AFP) - A promising young professional surfer has died at the age of 16 while catching a wave in Barbados during Hurricane Irma, the World Surf League said.
Zander Venezia, a native of Barbados, reportedly fell off his board and hit a shallow reef at a beach called Box by Box, it said. He and other surfers were riding a swell generated by the Category Five hurricane.
Speaking to the magazine Surfline, fellow surfer named Alan Burke said: "Zander was bleeding, and he wasn't moving. They tried to get him to the beach quickly, which was very difficult.
"Box by Box is a tough place to get in and out of, even if you have the ability."
The son of a surfer, Venezia won the Rip Curl Grom Search in the Outer Banks in North Carolina in mid-August, and in April he won the National Scholastic Surfing Association regional championships.
The Barbados newspaper Nation News called Venezia one of the island's most promising junior surfers.