Surfer Andy Irons.
Surfer Andy Irons.

Heart attack killed Irons

IT has been revealed a heart attack was the main cause of surfing legend Andy Irons's death, but drugs also played their part.

A toxicology report released this week revealed a cocktail of drugs, including cocaine, were found as the secondary cause of death by the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office in Forth Worth, Texas, contributing to Mr Irons's cardiac arrest.

The three-time world champion died in Miami on November 3. He was sick and travelling home from an Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour event in Puerto Rico.

Tweed and Coolangatta surfing greats Mark Occhilupo, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning were close friends with Mr Irons, who called Coolangatta his second home.

The trio was deeply affected by his death and joined hundreds of mourners in a paddle-out at iconic Snapper Rocks to honour their friend late last year.

The official autopsy report revealed sudden cardiac arrest as the cause of death due to a blockage of the main artery of the heart.

It is believed the 32-year-old had a genetic weakness to the disease, with both his grandmother and a grand uncle dying of heart failure.

The report also listed a second cause of death as “acute mixed drug ingestion”, revealing traces of the anxiety drug Xanax, pain-killer methadone, cocaine and methamphetamine in his blood.

In a prepared statement, the Irons family revealed Mr Irons suffered from bipolar disorder and he often used illicit drugs to calm severe mood swings.

“Andy seemed to feel bullet-proof,” the statement read. “Andy was in some denial about the severity of his chemical imbalance and tended to blame his mood swings on himself and his own weaknesses, choosing to self-medicate with recreational drugs. “But travelling while sick and suffering from an undiagnosed heart condition was more than even Andy could overcome.

“We are hoping that people will remember Andy for his very full life.”


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