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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.
The interview in question was given to Australia’s Studio 10, and you can check it out above. In it, Lyons talks about how he and Irwin were driving around in an inflatable boat, looking for things to shoot for a documentary when they spotted an eight-foot stingray. Irwin exited the boot and swam up behind the animal because they’re normally very calm, but without warning, it “started stabbing wildly with its tail”. Initially, Lyons thought it was merely a weird incident, but when Irwin turned around, he was soaked in blood. Moments after being pulled into the boat, he bled out. His last words were reportedly “I’m dying.”
Because it was being recorded for a documentary, footage of Irwin’s death hypothetically could have been released. It could have been included in that documentary or sold to some sensationalist gossip websites, but thankfully, Lyons did the right thing. He turned it over to police and deleted everything that was on his camera. Even if he finds a backup copy, he says he’ll never release it for the sake of the family who shouldn’t have to go through the pain of watching it.
You can check out Irwin in all his loveable glory during an interview with Conan below…