Friends, family and the public have paid tribute to Aussie snowboarding champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, who died in a spearfishing accident yesterday.

On Wednesday, his longtime partner Ellidy Vlug watched on as lifesavers tried to resuscitate Pullin for 45 minutes on the Gold Coast, the Courier Mail reported.

Pullin had been spotted unresponsive on the ocean floor by another spearfisherman and is believed to have had a shallow water blackout, similar to fainting underwater.

Today, in a note left at their front door, Vlug wrote a heartfelt message in memory of her long-time partner.

Dear media,

Thank you for your thoughts this is a very difficult time for me and I ask that you respect my privacy during this period of grief.

Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived life to the full.

He lived for us – his family, our puppy Rummi, our amazing friends and the home we made together.

He was living his dream, our dream.

I am eternally grateful that I have lived my life with him and I am deeply saddened that his life has been cut short.

Rest in peace my beautiful man.

Kind regards, Ellidy.

Pullin was a snowboarding great on the world stage, snagging gold medals in snowboard cross event at the 2011 and 2013 world championships. He also served as Australia’s flag-bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

On Instagram, Pullin’s friends also posted touching tributes.

“Chumpy, your love for life, your beautiful heart, your talent in everything you did will never be forgotten,” wrote freestyle skiing gold-medalist Lydia Lassila.

“Love you man, we will miss you… rest easy.”

Actor Lincoln Lewis posted several photos from their time together.

“[You were] one of those rare individuals who just lit up every room, never failed to continuously make everyone smile, laugh and just feel like their part of the family,” he said.

“I wish I had the proper words to say, but what I do know is that I feel so incredibly lucky – beyond comprehension to have been able to call you a mate and even though you are gone way too soon, the world has been all the better and brighter for having you in it.”

Thousands more flooded Pullin’s own comments with their own messages.

“Brother, you were one of a kind!” world champion surfer Mick Fanning wrote.

“So much heart and passion for life. Loved your ‘can do it’ attitude yet your humbleness was always inspiring.”

Others who didn’t know him personally also left tributes.

“Fly high and keep ripping up the slopes and tinnies up there,” wrote one person.

“Too young to die. A wonderful young sportsman gone too soon,” said another.

Many, many more simply posted the same message: “Rest in peace.”

Image: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer