Horrible reports emerging from the Gold Coast this afternoon assert that a man who drowned while spearfishing this morning is believed to be champion Australian snowboarder and former Olympian Alex “Chumpy” Pullin.
Pullin, 32, was spearfishing in shallow water off 19th Ave at Palm Beach. It’s believed he suffered a shallow water blackout at around 10:30am.
According to reports from the Courier Mail, another spearfisherman spotted an unresponsive man on the ocean floor and alerted lifeguards back on shore. Officials performed CPR for 45 minutes but the man was unable to be revived.
A City of Gold Coast spokesperson stated “Lifeguards provided CPR to the man until the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) arrived and took over.
Pullin is believed to have been an experienced spearfisher and free diver, and was fishing alone at the time of the incident. His family was reportedly on the beach.
Pullin, a champion snowboarder, represented Australia at several world championships in the snowboard cross event, achieving Gold in both 2011 and 2013 events. He represented Australian at an Olympic level three times. In 2014 at Sochi, he was the national team’s flagbearer.
The Australian Olympic Team marked Pullin’s tragic passing on social media a short time ago.
💚💛 Vale @chumpypullin 💚💛
Three-time Olympian, Australian Flagbearer at Sochi 2014 and two-time World Champion. An incredible athlete, beloved teammate and role model, you will be sorely missed.
Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/co9vxaQVdW
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) July 8, 2020
A report is being prepared for the coroner. Investigations into Pullin’s death remain on-going.