Andy Irons, a championship surfer and surfing Hall of Famer, was found dead in his Grand Hyatt DFW Texas hotel room. He was in Texas for an overnight layover on his way to his home in Hawaii. Originally, the death of Andy Irons was believed to be from a disease known as “Dengue Fever.” However, it would now appear that Irons died of a drug overdose. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said that the painkiller Methadone was found in a container for Zolpidem, which is a prescription insomnia medication and hypnotic. Other medications were also recovered, officials said.
Professional championship surfer Andy Irons was found dead by Grand Hyatt DFW hotel staff. Irons was staying in the Texas hotel as he had an overnight layover on his way back home to Hawaii.
During the “ASP Men’s World Toura” competition in Puerto Rico, Irons reported to the event doctor that he was feeling ill. He was advised to withdraw from the Puerto Rico competition due to illness. This was confirmed by The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
When I first heard of Andy Irons’ death, it was reported that he had died of “Dengue Fever,” and I was going to advise the public on how to avoid contracting such diseases while traveling abroad. Given the new information about Irons’ death, it would seem inappropriate to do so.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser was one of the first to report that Irons’ death was drug-related. Reports from authorities suggest that Andy Irons didn’t die of “Dengue Fever” as originally reported, but rather a potential drug overdose. Whether it was intentional or not is yet to be determined, although at this time it seems unlikely that Irons would commit suicide. His wife is 7-months pregnant, and it is unlikely that Irons would want to kill himself during such a happy time in his life.
The Association of Surfing Professionals released the following statement regarding Irons’ death: “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,” writes the ASP. “…At this time the family thanks his friends and fans for their support, and asks that the community respect his privacy. The family also asks to not be contacted so their focus can remain on one another during this time of profound loss.”
We won’t know for certain what the cause of Irons’ death was until an autopsy has been performed. The fact that he had the painkiller and insomnia hypnotic in his stomach does not necessitate that this is what killed him.
The Medical Examiner’s Office stated that Irons was in his Grand Hyatt DFW hotel room when he died. They went on to say that the painkiller methadone and the insomnia hypnotic medication were strewn next to his body.
There is no doubt that the death of Andy Irons will be deeply felt throughout the professional surfing and sports world for quite some time. As more details are released, the more painful the loss of the surfer will become.
Andy Irons is already being immortalized, as the governor of Hawaii has declared Feb. 13 to forever be known as “Andy Irons Day.”
Irons’ sponsor, Billabong, released a message regarding his death via the company website. The message reads, “The world of surfing mourns an incredibly sad loss today with the news that Hawaii’s Andy Irons has died.”
Irons is survived by his wife Lyndie and his unborn child, who is due to be born in two months.