Andy Irons Dies On Way Home To Hawaii

by The Editors on November 2, 2010

Feb09 23
Lyndie and Andy Irons at the premiere of Fly In The Champagne February 19, 2009.

Reports of Andy Iron’s untimely death began circulating via text message and phone calls a little after 1 PM today (Tuesday, November 2, 2010). The 32-year-old three-time ASP World Surfing champion reportedly succumbed to fever during a layover in Dallas, Texas on his way home to Hawaii. He was found in his room by Grand Hyatt Hotel employees at 9:44 AM, according to the Associated Press.

Irons was in Puerto Rico to compete in the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico but reportedly was ill on arrival and was too sick to surf his round one heat 8 against Luke Stedman and Owen Wright.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story. . .
Crw 6008
AI ripping up Trestles during the Hurley Pro on September 17, 2010.

According to Transworld Surf, after Irons landed in Dallas he wasn’t well enough to continue traveling:

Andy was so sick he was unable to board his flight from Dallas to Kauai, got a hotel room, and was found there dead leaving behind a pregnant wife, family, and world full of friends and fans.

In a tweet at 2:34 PM PST Sal Masekela, who interviewed Irons for the movie Fly In The Champagne, said the following (without mentioning Irons by name):

How can one day go from so wonderful to so horrible in the blink of an eye? We will miss you my brother. I will miss you so much.

Close friend Chris Cote, the editor of Transworld Surf tweeted the following:

I pray that this info about Andy Irons is a hoax. But reports are coming in from everywhere. Our hearts will be broken i this is true.

Followed later by: “Andy Irons R.I.P. We will love you and miss you always.”

Billabong Released the following official statement at 4:10 PM confirming Andy’s death:

HONOLULU – (November 2, 2010) — The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii’s Andy Irons has died. Andy was a beloved husband, and a true champion. Irons, 32, withdrew from a professional surfing event in Puerto Rico last weekend due to illness and passed away during a layover en-route to his home in Kauai, Hawaii. He had reportedly been battling with dengue fever, a viral disease.

At this time the family thanks his friends and fans for their support, and asks that the community respect its privacy. The family also asks to not be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss.

The death of Andy Irons is a crushing loss to the entire surf community. After taking a year off the tour in 2009 Irons had returned for the 2010 season winning the Billabong Pro in Teahupoo on September 4, 2010 and reminding everyone that his skills had not dulled in his time away.

Tonight our thoughts are Andy’s pregnant wife Lyndie, his brother Bruce, and the entire Irons family. We will keep you updated on this unbelievably sad story.

[Update November 3, 2010 3:20 PM PST: According to a new story in the Honolulu Star Advertiser the autopsy on Andy Irons was "inconclusive" for cause of death:

"An autopsy today of three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons ruled out foul play and trauma, but lab results will be needed to conclude why he died in an airport hotel room in Texas. . . The tests could take 60 to 90 days to complete."]

[Update November 3, 2010: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is quoting the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office as saying that it is investigating Irons' death "as a possible overdose of methadone." According to the Star-Advertiser:

. . . methadone was found inside a container of a prescription drug called zolpidem, the medical examiner said. Zolpidem is commonly used for insomnia, while methadone is a powerful controlled substance used for pain. The container, as well as numerous other medications, was found on a nightstand, the medical examiner said."

As if this story wasn't painful enough already.]

For more reading check the links below:
• Portugal Says Irons Didn’t Get Dengue Fever Here (The Portugal News)
• Irons’ autopsy inconclusive, pending lab test results (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• No Mention of Methadone In Police Report (TMZ)
• Surfing Great Andy Irons — Dengue Death? (WebMD)
• The End Of The Party (Stab Magazine)
• Surf legend Andy Irons’ death investigated as possible overdose (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• Drug culture questions raised after Irons’ death (Goldcoast.com.au)
• Legacy of Pride (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
• Surfing Champ Found Dead At Dallas-Ft. Worth Hotel (AP)
• Andy Irons Dead From Dengue Fever (CBS)
• Andy Irons Dies En Route To Hawaii (ESPN)
• Pro Surfer Andy Irons Dengue Fever: Leaves Behind Pregnant Wife (Babble.com)
• Andy and Lindy’s Private Kauai Wedding
• Andy Irons Passes Away At Age 32 (Transworld Surf)
• Andy Irons Passes Away (Surfer Magazine)

Previous post:

Next post: