In tragic news out of the Gold Coast, Australian snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin was reportedly killed in a spearfishing accident off Palm Beach (a southern suburb of the actual city of Gold Coast). Pullin, who competed in snowboard cross and was twice the world champion, apparently suffered a shallow water blackout sometime after 10:30 a.m. local time.
He was reportedly alone and found by a snorkeler lying on the ocean floor. The snorkeler got him to the surface and then lifeguards helped get him to shore where paramedics took over.
Pullin’s family was apparently on the beach at the time. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask, we understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef,” Gold Coast Police District Duty Officer Chris Tritton said.
Both lifeguards and paramedics attempted CPR for nearly an hour but were unable to revive him. “Lifeguards provided CPR to the man until the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) arrived and took over,” a City of Gold Coast spokeswoman said.
Pullin represented Australia in three Olympic games but never medaled. His talents went beyond snowboarding, though, as he was no doubt a gifted human: he was an experienced spearfisherman and surfer as well as a musician – his Instagram page shows him performing an epic cover of 50 Cent’s Window Shopper.
Alex Pullin was 32 years old.