Believe it or not, it’s been nearly eight years since we lost Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter fame. When Steve died on September 4, 2006, we lost a man so passionate about his love for animals and for sharing that passion with the world that he lost his life in the process.
Recently, cameraman Justin Lyons relived the horrible day Steve died in a tragic accident. You’ll recall Steve was out on Batt Reef when he was stung in the heart by a “8-foot wide stingray.”
The cameraman, who worked with the Crocodile Hunter for more than 15 years, was the only man in the water with Steve when he was stung, according to Australian morning show Studio 10. Justin recently stopped by the program to discuss Steve’s tragic death.
“I had the camera on and I thought, ‘This is going to be a great shot,’ … and all of a sudden, [the stingray] propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds,” he recalls. “It probably thought that Steve’s shadow was a tiger shark, which feeds on them very regularly, so it started attacking. I panned with the camera as the stingray swam away. I didn’t even know it had caused any damage.”
It wasn’t until he panned the camera back to Steve and saw blood that he realized something was wrong. He and the rest of the crew pulled Steve out of the chest-deep water and got him back to the main boat but the damage was already done.
“[He] calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying,’” Justin recalled of Steve’s last words. “And that was the last thing he said.”
As of publishing, Steve’s family have not responded to a request for comment, according to NBC News.
Source: NBC News