Steve Irwin, known to most as the ‘Crocodile Hunter’, was killed by the stings from a barb of a large stingray in 2006.
In his first interview since the fatal accident, Justin Lyons, Irwin’s camera man, has opened up about Irwin’s final moments, including his final words … “I’m dying.”
“He just sort of calmly looked at me and said, ‘I’m dying,’ Lyons recalled to the Australian talk show Studio 10. Ironically, Lyons explained that they were eight days into filming a new documentary titled Ocean’s Deadliest. They were looking for tiger sharks, when the stingray approached them.
The stingray was calm at first, but when Irwin moved behind it, it started thrashing its tail, hitting Irwin hundreds of times within a few seconds. “All of a sudden, it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, hundreds of strikes within a few seconds,” Lyons said. “It probably thought Steve’s shadow was a tiger shark, which feeds on them very regularly, so it started attacking.”
Lyons said that he did not immediately realize that Irwin had been injured until he saw him standing in a pool of blood. The barb had gone through his chest. “He thought it had punctured his lung, and he stood up and screamed, ‘It’s punctured me lung!’”
Lyons explained that he and the other crew members got Irwin into the inflatable boat and preformed CPR for over an hour. Upon their arrival, medics immediately pronounced him dead. The entire scene was filmed, but Lyons said that he did not know what happened to it, and never wanted to see it.
“I was saying to him things like ‘think of your kids Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on,'” Lyons said. “He calmly looked up at me and said ‘I’m dying.” And that was the last thing he said.”
Irwin left a legacy when he passed away, and his daughter Bindi Irwin is adamant about following in her father’s footsteps. She announced last week that she was partnering with SeaWorld to help kids get involved with animals and wildlife.
Image via Wikimedia Commons