In 2006 the sudden and tragic death of Steve Irwin, also known as the infamous Crocodile Hunter, shocked the world. Since Irwin’s passing, his wife had participated in some emotional interviews regarding the family’s tragic loss. However Justin Lyons, the camera man and close friend of Irwin, remained silent about the death of his friend. Until now. Not only did he recently speak about his emotional struggle dealing with the loss of his good friend, he also relayed some shocking new details about what really happened that day.
On March 9th, Lyons appeared on Studio 10, which is a Australian morning show. During his interview, he rehashed detailed moments leading up to Irwin’s death. Lyons and Irwin were trying to attain final footage of a stingray, off the coast of Australia. As in the previous documentaries Irwin participated in, he confidently approached the stingray in the same manner he would with any other animal. At first, the stingray was still and calm. Suddenly, it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail, giving hundreds of strikes in a few seconds. Lyons stated that “It probably thought 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, and I realized something had gone wrong. They’ve got venom on their barb, so I’m sure it was excruciatingly painful. He had an extraordinary threshold for pain, so I knew that if he was in pain it must have been painful”. Lyons continued “He obviously didn’t know that it had punctured his heart, but he knew it had punctured his lung. He was having trouble breathing. Even if we’d been able to get him into an emergency ward at that moment, we probably wouldn’t have been able to save him. The damage to his heart was massive”.
Previous reports from 2006 alleged the stingray’s barb came out during the attack. Lyons denied the allegations. “It didn’t come out. Steve didn’t pull it out,” he explained. “It’s a jagged, sharp barb and it went through his chest like a hot knife through butter”. Lyons, desperate to save his friends life, performed CPR on Irwin for over an hour until Irwin could receive professional medical attention. The medics pronounced him dead within 10 seconds of reviewing his physical state.
Lyons recalled his very last moment with Irwin. “I was saying things like think of your kids Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on, and he just sort of calmly looked up at me and said ‘I’m dying’. That was the last thing he said”.
On March 6th, the late Crocodile Hunter’s wife Terri Irwin and children, Bindi, and Robert, appeared on Good Morning America. The family made an announcement stating they have decided to continue Irwin’s legacy. Bindi stated “I’m so excited to carry on in dad’s footsteps and make sure that everything he worked so hard for continues for the generations to come”.