Sport Other Sports Champion Australian snowboarder dies in spear-fishing accident

Champion Australian snowboarder dies in spear-fishing accident

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Winter Olympian Alex “Chumpy” Pullin has died in a spearfishing incident at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.

The 32-year-old Australian snowboarder was found by a snorkeller on an artificial reef on Wednesday morning.

Justin Payne, a Queensland Ambulance Service officer in charge at Coolangatta, said emergency services responded to a call just after 10:30am.

“The QAS received a phone call to support the lifeguards down here, where they were attempting to retrieve and resuscitate a 32-year-old male, who was found on the bottom of the ocean,” Mr Payne said.

“The patient was found at the bottom of the reef, [and] was brought to the top by another snorkeller and brought in by lifeguards.

Lifeguards attempted to resuscitate Pullin on the beach but were unable to revive him.

“The resuscitation attempt was for approximately 45 to 50 minutes with CPR the entire time. Unfortunately, the patient [did not] survive,” Mr Payne said.

“At the time paramedics were on scene, we were unable to locate anyone who knew the patient, so we just had to treat [him] with the conditions we found.”

Mr Payne said the incident was under police investigation.

“He may have been spearfishing. The patient was initially found with a weight belt and there was equipment in the area where he was found,” he said.

Pullin was a dual snowboard cross world champion who was the Australian flag-bearer at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

He represented Australia at three Winter Olympic Games, in Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

Aside from his 2013 world title, Pullin won gold at the 2011 world championships and claimed bronze at the 2017 edition.

He was also a two-time World Cup winner and won silver at the 2016 Winter X Games.

The 32-year-old posted to Instagram last week with photos and videos of him spearfishing in Gold Coast waters.