By Kyle James   |  09-08-2017   News
Photo credit: The Goldwater

Zander Venezia is a 16-year-old with a special talent for surfing but he made a mistake when he thought he could surf the waves a category 5 hurricane. Even at his young age, Venezia is a champion surfer who won the Rip Curl Grom Search in North Carolina. The 16-year-old paddled out into the surf in Barbados while Hurricane Irma was raging. The giant waves the hurricane created attracted the surfers. Venezia and his friends surfed the massive waves and everything seemed to be going fine until the champion surfer was knocked unconscious by a shallow reef.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Heavy surf claims the life of 16-year old Zander Venezia. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family. <a href="https://t.co/FHdhiU1Hx7">https://t.co/FHdhiU1Hx7</a> <a href="https://t.co/9vmkidC4tQ">pic.twitter.com/9vmkidC4tQ</a></p>&mdash; World Surf League (@wsl) <a href="https://twitter.com/wsl/status/905207121699979265">September 5, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Photographer Jimmy Wilson witnesses the event and said in an interview that Venezia was with his friends when he got in trouble in the huge waves. "His board was tombstoning, he was underwater," Wilson said. He went on to describe capturing Venezia's last wave, "I got a photo of his last wave. But he made that wave. Didn't fall. I think it might have happened on his way in. We're not really sure what happened."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I liked a <a href="https://twitter.com/YouTube">@YouTube</a> video <a href="https://t.co/2sm5GRF38g">https://t.co/2sm5GRF38g</a> REST IN PEACE ZANDER VENEZIA</p>&mdash; Ben Gravy (@BenGravyy) <a href="https://twitter.com/BenGravyy/status/905883603644674052">September 7, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Venezia's friends managed to pull his body from the surf and perform CPR on him until paramedics arrived. People who were close to him describe him as a "kind soul" and a "true champion" of the waves. The winds reached speeds over 185 mph and the dangerous waves threw Venezia into a shallow reef knocking him out. He then drowns according to the autopsy. Venezia is the tenth life claimed by Hurricane Irma and it's not over yet.

<i>On Twitter:</i>

<a href="https://twitter.com/ErvinProduction">@ErvinProduction</a>

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Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/surf-champion-zander-venezia-dies-riding-hurricane-irmas-waves-in-barbados-20170907-gyd720.html

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