Andy Irons death – Heart attack from drugs overdose

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Yesterday the official Andy Irons (RIP) autopsy and toxicology report was released. Since his death on the 2nd November 2010, there have been a lot of rumours surrounding the cause of his untimely death. First dengue fever, then a possible prescription drugs overdose…

Andy Irons was a great surfer and will always be missed, at the time of his death his widow Lyndie was 8 months pregnant with Andy’s son to be (Andy Axel Irons).

Due to the media circus surrounding his death, a court injunction was sought in order for Lyndie to give birth in peace.

This week, a 13-page toxicology report has surfaced and two ‘independent’ forensic experts have interpreted the report.

Here’s what they concluded…

‘Heart failure primary cause of death’

Their conclusion is that Andy Irons died a natural death from a sudden cardiac arrest which was caused by a severe blockage of the main artery of the heart.

But how could that happen to a fit 32 year old surfer who could charge 15ft Teahupoo?

Well, the forensics mention a couple of things they feel contributed.

1. There is a history of heart problems in the Irons family. Andy had a grandmother who was 77 when she died of congestive heart failure, and a grand uncle who also died of heart failure…

2. Andy had contracted Typhoid fever 5 years ago, which apparently can damage the heart.

But it really was a drugs overdose…right?

In addition to the initial cause of death there were some other things they found in his blood. Tarrant County Chief Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani, MD, lists a second cause of death as “acute mixed drug ingestion”.

Or to you and me…a drugs overdose.

Drugs found to be present in AI’s body

1. Methadone – Now the report states this is ‘an analgesic drug commonly used in the treatment of chronic pain’ (…cough, cough) Wiki states: An analgesic drug that is used as a substitute to treat morphine and heroin addiction.

2. Cocaine – benzoylecgonine present in the blood is consistent with use of cocaine at about 30 hours prior to death.

3. Xanax/ Alprazolam – A prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders.

4. Methamphetamine aka Crystal Meth – One of the more nasty and notoriously addictive drugs to hit the US in recent years.

I’m not a medical expert, but I would wager if the average person consumed all those drugs they’d probably have a heart attack too…If Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones had died in the 1970s, his toxicology report may have looked pretty much like this.

What can we learn from this?

Andy Irons was a great surfer, a much-loved husband, he was a soon-to-be father and it’s a tragedy that his life was cut short, however when you consider the information in the report it does make you wonder what on earth is going on in professional surfing if someone can compete in the top ranks of world surfing and take loads of class A drugs?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. It’s doesn’t surprise me at all about the possible linkage of Andy’s death to drugs misused and overused.

    But in such a way it is disappointing that the leniency in some ways allowed a lack of self discipline, which lead to a great loss of a notable player – honestly it’s saddening dude.

  2. I am surprised actually that surfing doesn’t have any strict testing of the competitors like many other sports. It’s sad all these people who have so much going for them are willing to throw it all away and not care about the consequences. His poor widow, not only does she have to deal with the loss of her husband – because hes a prominent figure the media harassment, and to top it all off she is a new mother. It just makes you sad that this sort of thing happens.

  3. There’s no point in pointing fingers on or blaming the people responsible for this incident. But what has transpired can be prevented if the ASP organizers make it a point to regulate the use of illegal drugs!

  4. Drug testing should be strictly implemented regardless of the type of sports. If so, this is going to be fair to all participants, and incidents like this can prevented.

  5. Illegal drugs, performance enhancing, and more can do more damage than help in the long run. Before one realizes, if it reaches this point, that these drugs are harmful, it may be too late. I just hope that sports organizes will learn from this tragic story.

  6. Drug abuse and addiction is one of the challenging and leading cause of death of the significant people in the industry. I just hope this resource will be useful to all of us in order to continue educating yourself and others on this critical issue.

    It is really sad that Andy Irons’ leaves behind his young wife Lyndie and his first child that early. RIP Andy Iron, all our prayers!

  7. I’m pretty much disappointed by the death of Andy. His wife not only lost her loving husband but also the father of her baby.
    may his soul rest in peace.

  8. He was about to become a father in December, as his wife Lyndie is expecting the deceased surfer’s first child.E ho’omaha me ka maluhia. You will always be remembered as one of the best. My thoughts and prayers go out to Lyndie and the Irons family.

  9. This the ugly truth behind the unexpected death of every successful man from a drug-death related issue. The public are no longer naive with regard to this social issue. In my own opinion we are all aware about this, and can sense the truth. My sincerest condolences to Irons family. All my thoughts and prayers.

  10. wish i hadn’t read this. i was still believing it was the Dengue that did it. 🙁 Ignorance is bliss. I guess…

  11. I know lots of people who surf very well and love drugs. Im one.
    Also, these things are easy to hide. Navigating the highs and lows can be tricky, but usually there is another drug to cover the symptoms of the first…

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