Alex Pullin of Australia celebrates after winning the Snowboard-Cross FIS World Cup Final in Arosa, Switzerland, on March 25, 2011. File Photo by Alessandro Della Bella/EPA-EFE
July 8 (UPI) -- Snowboarding world champion Alex Pullin died Wednesday at age 32, in waters off his homeland of Australia while he was spearfishing.
Pullin, whose nickname was "Chumpy," was found unresponsive after his body was noticed by a snorkeler on an artificial reef near Palm Beach, Queensland, police said.
A Queensland medical officer said it appeared Pullin had been alone at the time of his death, although there were other divers in the area.
"Another diver was out there and located him ... and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in," police said. "We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef."
Authorities said Pullin did not have an oxygen mask.
Pullin was a two-time world snowboard champion and won gold medals in the snowboard-cross event at the 2011 and 2013 world championships and carried the Australian flag at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
"Chumpy was Australia's great snowboard male pioneer," Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO Geoff Lipshut said in a statement. "As a junior, he won a medal at the World Junior Championships, before going on to two World Championships, two World Cup Championships and three Olympics.
"[He] was a leader, a great champion and will be missed by all of the winter sports community both in Australia and around the world. It is very sad."