Thumbnail for Alex Pullin tribute update
Thumbnail for Alex Pullin tribute update

Partner's loving note to 'my beautiful man, Chumpy'

THE partner of Olympic snowboarder Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, who died in a freak spearfishing accident off the Gold Coast on Wednesday, has posted an emotional tribute to her 'beautiful man' on their front door.

Pullin, a two-time world champion and triple Olympian, drowned on Wednesday while spear fishing at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.

His long-time girlfriend, Ellidy Vlug, posted a heartfelt handwritten note to the media on the door of their Elanora home.

"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."

The note left by Ellidy Vlug, the partner of Olympic snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin on their front door.
The note left by Ellidy Vlug, the partner of Olympic snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin on their front door.

Ms Vlug stumbled on the tragedy after going to the beach to find out what all the fuss was about.

Pullin, 32, is believed to have drowned after suffering a shallow water blackout while free diving on the Palm Beach artificial reef near his southern Gold Coast home.

His death has sent shockwaves through sporting community, with tributes pouring in for the two-time world champion and flag bearer for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin with partner Ellidy Vlug. Picture: Justin Lloyd)
Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin with partner Ellidy Vlug. Picture: Justin Lloyd)

Sources say Pullin's long-time girlfriend, model and businesswoman Ellidy Vlug and her mother, arrived on the scene after ambulances and lifeguards rushed to the beach.

They are believed to have expressed that they hoped the two-time world champion snowboarder was not the ­victim, only to learn the terrible truth.

A keen spearfisherman, Pullin was free-diving on the 19th Ave reef about 10.30am when the accident happened.

He was found by another snorkeller at the bottom of the reef and brought to shore by lifeguards on a jet ski after a surfer paddled in to raise the alarm.

Alex Pullin was at home in the snow or the water. Picture: Renee Nowytarger/The Australian
Alex Pullin was at home in the snow or the water. Picture: Renee Nowytarger/The Australian

Lifeguards and paramedics, assisted by off-duty volunteer lifesavers, performed CPR on Pullin for about 45 minutes but could not revive him.

Senior paramedic Justin Payne said that it was not known if Pullin had a medical condition which may have contributed to the accident, but police were investigating. "He was found at the bottom of the ocean … it appears he's had a submersion incident whilst spearfishing on the reef," Mr Payne said.

"Unfortunately, after a long attempt at resuscitation, the patient was unable to be revived," he said.

It's the second spearfishing tragedy in southeast Queensland in five days, after Sunshine Coast man Matthew Tratt was fatally mauled by a shark while spearing off Fraser Island on Saturday.

Emergency services on site after Alex Pullin was pulled from the water. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Emergency services on site after Alex Pullin was pulled from the water. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Tourist Paul Myers and his wife laid flowers at the beach after witnessing the aftermath of the tragedy, and were devastated to hear the victim was Pullin.

Mr Myers said they heard jet skis and saw paramedics and lifeguards working frantically to try to save Pullin on the beach.

"Whether it was a miscalculation or whether he was just having so much fun he just forgot where he was … the rest is history," he said. "You just don't know when your time's up, do you?"

Flowers are laid in the sand after the sad death of Alex Pullin. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Flowers are laid in the sand after the sad death of Alex Pullin. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Although he made his mark in the snow, Pullin was equally at home in the sea and was an experienced spearfisherman, surfer and jet skier.

Only a week ago, he posted an Instagram photograph of him spearfishing off the Gold Coast on a perfect winter's day. "Unreal day in the ocean!" he posted.

"Whales singing & breaching all around us, hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week … #bloodystoked."

In the wake of the tragedy, followers took to Pullin's Instagram page to pay emotional tribute to the ­extreme sports star.

Alex “Chumpy” Pullin carving up Hotham's Heavenly Valley.
Alex “Chumpy” Pullin carving up Hotham's Heavenly Valley.

"Brother, you were one of a kind!" friend and world champion surfer Mick Fanning posted.

"So much heart and passion for life. Loved your can do it attitude yet your humbleness was always inspiring," he said.

A report is expected to be prepared for the Coroner.

Originally published as Horror moment partner realised 'Chumpy' was gone


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