Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter Dies

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Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.
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FOOTAGE of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin being fatally gored by a stingray has been handed to police, according to media report.

The Australian reports that the footage shows that Irwin was swimming above a 2.5m stingray before it turned on him.

"The ray stopped and turned and that was it," boatowner Peter West, who viewed the footage afterwards, is quoted as saying in tomorrow's edition of The Australian newspaper.

"Something happened with this animal and made it rear and he was in the wrong position at the wrong time and if it hit him anywhere else we would not be talking about a fatality," Mr West says in the report.

The larger-than-life Irwin, 44, was off Port Douglas in far north Queensland, filming for his daughter Bindi's TV series.

Tonight his manager admitted he always feared that Irwin would meet his "demise" while working with the wildlife he loved.

But John Stainton said although Irwin got into plenty of "close shaves" with his antics involving various dangerous animals over the years, his star charge never feared death.

"You think about all the documentaries we've made and all the dangerous situations that we have been in, you always think 'Is this it, is this a day that maybe is his demise?'," he said in Cairns.

"We've been in some pretty close shaves.

"(But) nothing would ever scare Steve or would worry him. He didn't have a fear of death at all."

Mr Stainton, who was producing the underwater documentary, said Irwin died instantly.

He said Irwin had gone "over the top of a stingray and a stingray's barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart''.

Mr Stainton said Irwin had been rushed back to his research vessel at Batt Reef but had not regained consciousness despite desperate attempts to revive him.

"We got him back within a couple of minutes to Croc One, which is his research vessel,'' Mr Stainton said.

"We tried to quickly trip back to Low Isle where we were going to meet the emergency rescue people to do immediate and constant CPR, try and resuscitate him back into life.

"When we got there it was probably ten to 12, and by 12 o'clock when the emergency crew arrived they pronounced him dead.

"It's likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don't think that he ... felt any pain.''

Mr Stainton, an old friend who has worked with Irwin for years, added that the star had been looking for "things that can kill you in the sea".

"We were in the Cairns, Port Douglas area shooting a documentary for Animal Planet called Ocean's Deadliest, which was basically looking at things that can kill you in the sea," he said.

"This morning Steve decided to shoot a couple of segments for a new TV show that he's doing with his daughter Bindi, and with the cameramen went out onto the reef ... to film a segment on stingrays.''

It is not believed Bindi, eight, was on the reef trip.

Paramedics flown to the boat found Irwin had a puncture wound to the left side of his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


mccommas said...

That’s really sad. I hate it when I am socked with bad news first thing in the morning. I have yahoo as my homepage and this is how I heard the news of Lady Di, JFK Jr, Reagan and now this loveable silly guy. I wish they would not put up news like that. I will have to find a search engine that doesn't have news on it I suppose.

Eric said...

Did they get it on tape? They probably wouldn't broadcast it even if they did.

Big City Travels said...

Good question Eric.
You never know, it would seem a video camera always followed Steve in his adventures. I'm still looking for that information.

Big City Travels said...

Steve was indeed filming a Documentary at the time.

Jordano said...

I Respected, and loved Steve Irwin for his fearless and uncanny way that he told the stories of crocodiles.May god bless you Steve.May he watch over your children, and wife. And may your legacy live on.

Rest In Peace.

Steph said...

I'm sadded by this news. Steve was a very outgoing and insperational guy. i'm thinking of all the friends and family. May god bless you all.

Zainal Abidin (K.L. M'sia) said...

It was really a sad news to learn the tragic news today.
The late Steve Irwin, whom we all addressed & respected as Crocodile Hunter is "irreplaceable". He was and always'll be the Best. He was very dedicated and very passionate yet sensitive and also had that "strong wild spirit" in him. Watching him performing and doing his antics made our eyes to never want to loss sight of him...

We love watching him, and we'll all surely miss him too.

Our sincere condolences, to his beloved wife, son & daughter

Good-bye Mr.Irwin, God Bless You ! & God Grant U To Rest In Peace Too...

brisbanepete said...

At 3pm (AEST), walking through the shops, I heard a tradesman say Crikey's dead. What a shock. Poor family. It really hits me. It's really hit the whole country. As if Steve Irwin dies one Monday morning in September?!

"We die only once, and then we are judged. So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:27-28)

What a profound reminder of our mortality, and I'm glad to be on Jesus' buddies list. Very sadly, I'm not sure that Stevo was. I am really going to miss him.

I live two hours drive south of his zoo, and (like most of Australia who doesn't realise they like him until he is gone) never went there.

Poor family. It is so sad for them.

brisbanepete said...

By the way, I really hope that death footage NEVER gets leaked/released. That would be plain sick.

Big City Travels said...

Steve's manager was on television last night and stated there is no way in Hell the tape will ever be released.

Donna Skalski said...

I was so very shocked at the news. I feel so bad that your life had to be cut short by a fish. I'm mourning as the whole world probably is. Your contribution to your family and the animals of this world could never be compared. I will pray for your wife and two beautiful children as I know how much you loved them. You will be missed. I pray God had mercy on your wonderful soul and that you find peace with our Lord Jesus Chirst and your mom in Heaven. Love Always