Young surfer Zander Venezia (left) with his surfing dad, Louis, in happier times. (GP)
ON A DAY when most Barbadians avoided the beach because of the high surf caused by Category 5 Hurricane Irma, pro junior surfer Zander Venezia took to the waves to do what he loved most.
But he died after being knocked off his board onto the reef at Cattlewash, St Joseph. Surfers who were there tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him while he was in the water and on the beach. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) by ambulance.
According to online surf magazine Surfline, Zander’s last words, before that monster set drove him under, were: “I just got the best wave of my life.”
Zander was 16 and the son of Lisa and champion navigator and surfer Louis Venezia. He has one sister, Bella. He was one of the island’s most promising junior surfers and won the prestigious Rip Curl Gromsearch qualifying event in Outer Bank, North Carolina, a few weeks ago. (HLE/CA)
Please read the full story in today's Midweek Nation, or in the eNATION edition.