The girlfriend of Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin has penned a heartbreaking letter to the media as she comes to terms with the Aussie Olympic star’s death.
The 32-year-old snowboarder died while spearfishing on an artificial reef off Palm Beach on the Gold Coast on Wednesday morning.
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Girlfriend Ellidy Vlug and her mother reportedly witnessed the tragic attempts to revive Pullin after seeing paramedics on the beach.
On Thursday, Vlug posted a handwritten letter on the front door of the home she and Pullin bought together two years ago.
“Dear media,” she wrote. “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’s girlfriend witnessed tragic beach scene
Police have confirmed Pullin was unconscious when he was dragged from the water around 10.40am on Wednesday.
“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” an officer told reporters.
“He didn't have an oxygen mask, we understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”
Paramedics and lifeguards performed CPR for about 35 minutes, but he was pronounced dead just before 11.15am.
According to the Courier Mail, Vlug and her mother arrived at the tragic scene after seeing paramedics on the beach.
They reportedly went down to the beach to see what the commotion was about and witnessed the failed attempts to resuscitate him.
Pullin is believed to have suffered a ‘shallow water blackout’ - when someone faints underwater.
“At the time paramedics were on scene, we were unable to locate anyone who knew the patient, so we just had to treat with the conditions we found,” Queensland Ambulance Service officer Justin Payne said.
“The patient did have water in the lungs which paramedics were suctioning while trying to perform CPR and provide oxygen support.
“There were no other signs of trauma on the patient so we suspect that the patient has succumbed to a drowning event at this time.”
The 32-year-old was the flag-bearer for Australia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Pullin, known affectionately as ‘Chumpy’, won world championship titles in 2011 and 2013, and nine World Cup gold medals.