Australian world champion snowboarder Alex Pullin has died in a spearfishing accident, according to multiple reports. He was 32.
Pullin was spearfishing on Queensland’s Gold Coast when he was found unresponsive by a snorkeler on an artificial reef. Pullin was brought to shore and resuscitation attempts were administered but he could not be revived.
Police reports indicate Pullin had been diving along when the accident occurred.
“He didn’t have an oxygen mask, we understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef,” officer Chris Tritton said via ITV.com.
Nicknamed “Chumpy,” Pullin won world championships in 2011 and 2013 and competed for Australia in the Olympics in 2010, 2014 and 2018. He was the country’s flagbearer at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Won gold medal in world championship in snowboarding in
2011 and 2013 and 2017 Bronze
Completed 3 times at Winter Olympics
Carried the flag for Australia at opening ceremony.
Sadly drowned today at just 32 years old
— @Georgebakhos1 (@GeorgeBakhos1) July 8, 2020
Already, tributes have begun pouring in for Pullin on social media from former teammates, friends and fans alike.
“An incredible athlete, beloved teammate and role model, you will be sorely missed,” said the Australian Olympic Team in a statement.
Recently, Pullin had posted several photos on Instagram of himself diving and spearfishing.
“Unreal day in the ocean! Whales singing & breaching all around us, hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week,” he wrote in the caption for one.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Pullin’s friends and family during this difficult time.
May he rest in peace.