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Olympian drowns while spear fishing on the Gold Coast

Australian Olympic snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin has drowned on the Gold Coast in a spear fishing accident.

The 32-year-old two-time world champion and three-time Olympian was pulled unconscious from the water at Palm Beach around 10:30 this morning.

Pullin had no pulse when he was taken on shore, Nine News reporter Mackenzie Colahan told George Moore.

Lifeguards and paramedics performed CPR for 45 minutes, but he couldn’t be saved.

“He was a very experienced … freediver by all reports.

“He had water in his lungs, so people are only speculating whether he perhaps held his breath too long, and he was wearing a weight belt as well, so that’s what would’ve kept him down.”

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Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy called in to pay tribute to Pullin, describing him as “an all-round nice guy”, and extended sympathies to his family.

“Chumpy’s one of those absolute, all-round athletes.

“[He] led the sport, and led opportunities for the rest of the snowboarders in Australia to really progress in snowboard cross as an Olympic sport.

“He was a pioneer in many ways.”

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George Moore