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12th Nov 2023

Steve Irwin’s long-time friend caught his heartbreaking last words on camera

Charlie Herbert

Steve Irwin's long-time friend caught his heartbreaking last words on camera

‘I had the camera and thought this was going to be a great shot’

Steve Irwin’s friend who was with him on the day he died managed to inadvertently capture his final words on camera.

Justin Lyon had worked as a crew member with Irwin on a number of his documentaries.

And Lyon was with the wildlife expert while filming Ocean’s Deadliest on the Great Barrier Reef in 2006, when Irwin tragically lost his life.

The pair had been out recording when they spotted a giant stingray in the water and decided to film it.

After a few minutes, Irwin wanted to get “one last shot.”

But as the Crocodile Hunter passed over the creature, it raised its razor-sharp tail, stabbing him “hundreds of strikes in a few seconds”

Lyon told the Australian morning program Studio 10: “I had the camera and thought this was going to be a great shot. But all a sudden the stingray propped on its front and started stabbing Steve with its tail.

“There were hundreds of strikes within just a few seconds.”

As the cameras rolled, he heaved Steve back onto their inflatable boat and sped back towards the main vessel, Croc One, as the star writhed in agony from the venom.

Both feared he’d suffered a punctured lung and the crew applied pressure to the massive wound on Steve’s chest.

“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 because the damage to his heart was massive,” Lyon said.

The crew rushed back to shore, with cameras still rolling due to the panic. As the gravity of the situation dawned on Lyon, he urged Irwin to think of his family.

It was then that Irwin delivered his final words to his friend.

Lyon recalled: “He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying’. And that was the last thing he said.

“We hoped for a miracle. I did CPR on him for over an hour before the medics came, but then they pronounced him dead within 10 seconds of looking at him.”

Steve, who was just 44 when he died, was survived by his adoring wife Terri and two children Bindi and Robert, who were eight and three at the time.

Both his children have gone on to follow in their late father’s footsteps, and last month Robert celebrated breeding an exceptionally rare turtle named after his dad.

Related links:

Steve Irwin’s son Robert confirms he’s in a relationship with Heath Ledger’s niece Rorie Buckey

Aussies call for Steve Irwin’s face to be put on money instead of King Charles III


Steve Irwin