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Steve Irwin’s final moments: ‘Crocodile Hunter’ cameraman speaks (Video)
Steve Irwin's final moments

Steve Irwin’s final moments: ‘Crocodile Hunter’ cameraman speaks (Video)

It’s been almost eight years since Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin tragically died following a stingray attack at the Great Barrier Reef. In the years since, the accident has been discussed from a lot of different angles, but we haven’t heard a whole lot from the one man who was there. That all changed over the weekend when cameraman Justin Lyons, who actually filmed the death, opened up about the TV star’s last moments.

In his first public comments, Lyons told Australia’s Channel Ten he and Irwin had left their main boat in an inflatable to find something to film when they came across a “massive” eight-foot wide stingray in chest-high water.

The final shot was to be the stingray swimming away from Irwin. Instead, it struck out, apparently believing Irwin’s shadow was a tiger shark, one of its predators.

“I had the camera on, I thought this is going to be a great shot, and all of sudden it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds,” Lyons said.

“I panned with the camera as the stingray swam away and I didn’t know it had caused any damage. It was only when I panned the camera back that I saw Steve standing in a huge pool of blood that I realised something had gone wrong.”

He said reports that a barb had stuck in Irwin’s chest and he pulled it out were wrong.

“It’s a jagged barb and it went through his chest like a hot knife through butter,” he said.

“He had a two-inch-wide injury over his heart with blood and fluid coming out of it and we had to get him back to the boat as fast as we can,” Lyons added.

“I was saying to him things like ‘think of your kids Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on’, and he calmly looked up at me and said ‘I’m dying’ and that was the last thing he said.”

Stingrays have several sharp and venomous barbs on their tails that they use to defend themselves when they feel threatened, though experts at the time stressed that stingrays were not usually vicious and rarely attacked and killed humans.

Known for his “Crikey!” catchphrase, Irwin has had a wildlife reserve, a road, a turtle, a snail and an anti-whaling ship named after him since his death.

Agencies/Canadajournal




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