A “big balloon” balloonist who died in the theme park last week died after falling into a pool of water and contracting hypothermia, according to an autopsy report released Monday.
The Associated Press first reported that 30-year-old “Big Bird” Balloonist James D. Stott was found unconscious in a pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida, on Monday.
Stott was pronounced dead at the scene by Orlando County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Disney and Animal Kingdom said in a joint statement that Stott died from hypothermic cardiac arrest and his death was a result of “the extreme heat and water in the pool.”
The company said Stott fell “in a narrow area of the park” and that he “had suffered cardiac arrest.”
“The heart of the investigation is determining the cause and manner of his death,” Disney said in the statement.
“We are devastated by his loss.”
The Associated News reported that the cause of death was “hypothermia” but did not specify how much time Stott had spent in the water.
Stot’s sister, Kristin, told ABC News that her brother had recently undergone heart surgery and that “he was on his way back to the hospital.”
“I think he was trying to get home to his family,” Kristin Stott said.
“I think they were very distraught.
I think he had been there a few days before.”
According to a timeline published by Disney, the incident occurred at around 6 p.m. on Monday when the park sent out a distress call to the public.
According to the AP, park workers then began searching for a “Big Balloon” balloon and Stott, who had been working at Disney World’s Animal House, was discovered “under the water.”
“A crew member was then called to the park and discovered the balloon in the park, and immediately went to the scene to help locate Mr. Stuntts body,” Disney added.
Disney also released a statement from the Orlando Fire Department, which said Stuntt died from cardiac arrest.
“At approximately 6:15 p.s.m., a member of the Park Safety Team was dispatched to the Animal Kingdom area and the incident was under investigation,” the statement read.
“The cause and nature of Mr.
Stuntts death are being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
No further details are available at this time.”
The park posted a statement on its official Twitter account on Monday night saying that Stunttt’s body was being transported to the Orange Medical Examiner for a post-mortem examination.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of James D Stott,” the park said.