Steve Irwin's cameraman breaks silence on death

 

by  Fighting

The cameraman who filmed Steve Irwin's death eight years ago has come forward about the adventurer's final moments.

"We're saying to him things like, 'Think of your kids, Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on,'" Justin Lyons told Australian morning show Studio 10 on Sunday. "And he just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying,' and that was the last thing he said."

Irwin, beloved host of Animal Planet's The Crocodile Hunter, was killed in September 2006 by a stingray while shooting a documentary off the coast of Australia. He was 44.

Now, the friend Irwin called his "right-hand man" is speaking out about the tragedy for the first time, disputing earlier reports that Irwin may have goaded the typically calm stingray. As Lyons prepared to film the creature swimming away from Irwin, it attacked.

"All of a sudden it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds," he said. "It probably thought that Steve's shadow was a tiger shark, which feeds on them very regularly. … I panned with the camera as the stingray swam away, I didn't even know it had caused any damage. It wasn't until I panned the camera back, that Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood, that I realized something had gone wrong."

Lyons, who pulled Irwin from the water and performed CPR, gave a grisly description of his diving partner's injuries, calling claims that the barb on the stingray's tail had stuck in Irwin's chest incorrect.

"It didn't come out. Steve didn't pull it out. It's a jagged, sharp barb and it went through his chest like a hot knife through butter. He thought it had punctured his lung," Lyons said. "He had about a two-inch-wide injury over his heart with blood and fluid coming out of it."

Lyons said he does not know where his footage of the accident is, but he hopes it will remain unseen. Irwin's wife Terri previously told Access Hollywood all video had been destroyed.

As for the irony that a normally docile stingray took out the man who wrestled crocodiles, Lyons recalled thinking that only an unexpected species could harm the great wildlife advocate.

"It was probably always going to be something weird with Steve. I mean, a crocodile or a shark, he was so good with animals, nothing was going to get him," he said. "We thought he was going to live forever, but it would always be a crazy silly accident, and as it turns out that's exactly what it was."

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20795426,00.html

In addition to being a wildly popular wildlife expert, Irwin was a long-time MMA student

Keith Jardine introduced Irwin to the sport. The Dean of Mean said Irwin used to get grumpy if he didn't get his morning fix of boxing and jiu-jitsu.

The unlikely pair spent three weeks training at Australia Zoo in 2005 after being introduced by renowned MMA wrestling coach Gary Jackson.

In between working on arm locks and take-down techniques, Irwin taught Jardine how to feed crocodiles at his world-famous Sunshine Coast theme park.

tags: Steve Irwin   


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Recent Comments »

ISawSilva'sBONEr site profile image  

3/15/14 10:33 AM by ISawSilva'sBONEr

Didn't have a bad bone in his body. These are the sort of dudes who should be running the world. YouTube the vids of him surfing 10 feet waves in his kaki and boots. So epic.

ISawSilva'sBONEr site profile image  

3/15/14 10:33 AM by ISawSilva'sBONEr

Didn't have a bad bone in his body. These are the sort of dudes who should be running the world. YouTube the vids of him surfing 10 feet waves in his kaki and boots. So epic.

ClemenzasCannoli site profile image  

3/15/14 9:25 AM by ClemenzasCannoli

.

ClemenzasCannoli site profile image  

3/15/14 9:25 AM by ClemenzasCannoli

.

HULC site profile image  

3/15/14 8:31 AM by HULC

Steve is the only celebrity whose death had a genuine emotional impact on me and all of the people i know. It was a great loss to the world.

HULC site profile image  

3/15/14 8:31 AM by HULC

Steve is the only celebrity whose death had a genuine emotional impact on me and all of the people i know. It was a great loss to the world.

3rdLion site profile image  

3/14/14 6:14 AM by 3rdLion

Steve was straight up gangster, I was devastated when he dies

3rdLion site profile image  

3/14/14 6:14 AM by 3rdLion

Steve was straight up gangster, I was devastated when he dies

Louisvillain site profile image  

3/14/14 4:46 AM by Louisvillain

Now that I have kids, I'd like to introduce them to him.What an awesome guy.

Louisvillain site profile image  

3/14/14 4:46 AM by Louisvillain

Now that I have kids, I'd like to introduce them to him.What an awesome guy.