There was only one who witnessed the last moments of Steve Irwin’s life.
His name is Justin Lyons. He was the cameraman that fatal day when Steve was stabbed by a huge sting-ray multiple times – and he’s just spoken out for the first time.
Justin said animal conservationist Steve was stabbed “hundreds of times”.
He also revealed the croc hunter’s last words: “I’m dying.”
This is the first time we’ve heard from Justin since he filmed Steve’s final moments in North Queensland eight years ago.
Lyons describes how we and Irwin headed out from their main boat in an inflatable vessel to find something to film when they discovered a “massive” stingray in chest-high water. They’d finished filming except for the final frame – which goes against reports that Steve had chased the sting ray.
What really happened? Now we know: a 2.4metre ray lashed out, possibly mistaking Steve’s shadow for a tiger shark or similar predator.
“I had the camera on, I thought this is going to be a great shot, and all of sudden it propped on its front and started stabbing wildly, hundreds of strikes in a few seconds,” Lyons told Network Ten’s morning show Studio 10.
“I panned with the camera as the stingray swam away and I didn’t know it had caused any damage. It was only when I panned the camera back that I saw Steve standing in a huge pool of blood.”
According to Lyons, reports that a barb had stuck in Irwin’s chest were wrong.
“Contrary to what I read in the papers and what I heard at the time … (the stingray barb) didn’t come out, Steve didn’t pull it out.
“It’s a jagged barb and it went through his chest like hot butter.”
Lyons said Irwin knew he was in trouble and believed the stingray had punctured his lung.
“He had a two-inch-wide injury over his heart with blood and fluid coming out of it and we had to get him back to the boat as fast as we can,” Lyons said.
“He obviously didn’t know it had punctured his heart … even if we had got him into an emergency ward at that moment we probably we wouldn’t have been able to save him.
“I was saying to him things like ‘think of your kids Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on’, and he calmly looked up at me and said ‘I’m dying’ and that was the last thing he said.”
The stingray attack, the CPR and medical efforts were all captured on film, but have never been released.
See the interview here: